Jesse Fuller, “The Lone Cat” (1896 – 1976) was one of the great blues troubadours. A remarkably expressive singer and fine 12-string guitarist, Fuller developed his unique one-man-band style around his fotdella (foot-operated bass) and harmonica/kazoo-rig. Move On Down The Line collects his earliest recordings, including the original version of his classic San Francisco Bay Blues, together with a splendid session taped in London in 1965 for Topic Records. One track – John Henry – has been unavailable since the early 1960s. The CD package includes extensive sleevenotes by Joe Boyd and Val Wilmer and a selection of very rare photographs by Val Wilmer.
In the 1960s, the decade when the wider world reached out to embrace him, Fuller’s San Francisco Bay Blues was one of the most popular numbers in the repertoire of blues and folk singers. But Fuller was not a blues musician, although he played blues. Neither was he strictly speaking a folk musician as the term was then understood, for his act incorporated elements of minstrelsy and vaudeville – in other words, show business – and he’d travelled far beyond the “rurals” to work in Hollywood. His own term “folk songster” best describes who he was and what he did. This record is just as important as a document of an oft-neglected historical aspect of American music as it is a tribute to the peculiar talents of a quite remarkable musician.
1 Move On Down The Line
3 Ninety Nine Years And One Dark Day
4 Animal Fair
5 Sleeping In The Midnight Cold
7 John Henry
8 Railroad Worksong
9 Lining Up The Track
10 Hanging ‘Round A Skin Game
11 Railroad Blues
12 San Francisco Bay Blues
Release date : 27th July 2009
Barcode number : 5020393 307420