Let's Get Loose: Folk and Popular Blues Styles from the Beginnings to the Early 1940s
Liner Notes   Cat. No. 80290     Release Date: 1977-01-01

Blues are sung from a first-person point of view, but this does not necessarily mean that they are autobiographical. Most of the early folk blues used traditional lyrics drawn from a storehouse of verses that the singers could mix freely in performance or construct into more permanent compositions that they would retain in their repertoires. Sometimes they would put their own feelings and experiences into their songs, but their main criterion was that the blues "tell the truth" in a manner recognizable to the audience. The blues singer might actually be surrounded by adoring women, but he would sing about the problems of love because he knew that some of the people in his audience had such problems. Or he might sing about being arrested and put in jail because there were bound to be listeners who had had similar experiences.


Although early blues exhibited some influence from spirituals and group work songs, the main contributing traditions were the field holler and the ballad. Field hollers were very loosely structured unaccompanied songs sung by farm workers and other manual laborers.They often contained falsetto singing, moaning, humming, or whistling. Some had no words at all, while others might repeat a single verse over and over. Some had more developed texts. They dealt with working conditions, stubborn mules and the hot sun, and inevitably with the singer's woman. These field hollers contributed the basic vocal material to the early blues.This material was given structure and a stanza form by the ballad.

Various Artists

Let's Get Loose: Folk and Popular Blues Styles from the Beginnings to the Early 1940s

Track Listing

Album/track(s) not yet available for download, but you may listen to clip(s) below.
Peach Tree Blues
Brownskin Woman
Violin Blues
What's the Mater Now
Yodeling Blues
Doggone My Good-Luck Soul
Let's Get Loose
Nigger Blues
Dad's Ole Mule
Keep It Clean
Blue Night Blues
House Lady Blues
I'm Cuttin' Out
Deep Blue Sea Blues
Love Me, Baby
My Buddy Blues

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