Skip James - The Complete 1931 Sessions (LP)
Nehemiah Curtis James, better known by his nickname "Skip", was one of many Delta blues artists to be re-discovered during the 1960s, after the folk blues revival movement took hold of the US. His deep playing-style, which matched intricate, classically-inspired finger-picking techniques, with melodies playing in a darker, minor key, stood out from his contemporaries, and inspired an entire school of forthgoing bluesmen from his home in Bentonia, Mississippi, as well as future blues pupils like Muddy Waters, John Fahey, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and many others.
Though Skip James would reach blues paragon status in his later years, prior to the 1960s he had only produced one album's worth of sides. In 1931 he met with the legendary blues label Paramount to record a selection of singles, mostly covers of blues classics and spirituals, with a few original compositions in between. Singles which danced between genres and sounds deftly, and were considered peculiar by then modern blues standards.
James had the unfortunate luck of having to release it immediately as the Great Depression hit America, resulting in very poor sales, and James quitting blues until his re-discovery. Yazoo now presents these singles, compiled into The Complete 1931 Session, which catalogues his renditions of tracks like "Devil Got My Woman", "Jesus Is A Mighty Good Leader", "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues", and what could be considered his signature song; the quick-paced two-step blues ditty "I'm So Glad."