July 18, 2009

Robbie Williams...


Folklorist Dr Harry Oster had discovered Williams in Angola Penitentiary, serving a life sentence for murder, Robert Pete's self-taught, modal guitar playing, and long, improvised blues about his life and feelings, often unrhymed and semi-spoken, at once marked him out as a unique blues artist.It was thanks largely to Oster's efforts that when these recordings were made, Robert Pete was free on parole, although, as The Hay Cutting Song wittily notes, it was a harsh kind of freedom, working 80 hours a week for $75 a month. In his songs, Robert Pete unflinchingly confronts a world in which loneliness, death and approaching old age loom large. Williams, born in 1914, is now dead.

Robert Pete Williams - Free Again (Prestige/Bluesville, 1961)


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Harry Oster info

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