Originally released 1965
Vinyl reissue 2011 P&C
Yonder Go That Old Black Dog is a very special album, perhaps more important for the atmosphere it sets than for the quality of the actual recordings. Compiled by folklorist Bill Koon from field recordings he made after encountering Eddie Lee "Mustright" Jones playing guitar on a porch in Lexington, GA, in 1965, the album has the feel of an early 19th century African-American singalong, with Jones' family and friends adding spoken interjections and impromptu background vocals to whatever Jones is singing. The material isn't blues as such, although Jones' guitar playing and slide work definitely has a bluesy tone to it, but tends to drift closer to folk spirituals and guitar renditions of fiddle dance tunes. Nothing here is slick or polished, but the easy, communal intimacy of hearing Jones and his family tackle "Yonder Go That Old Black Dog," "I May Never See You Anymore," "I'm Talking 'Bout You," "Let That Liar Alone," the blues spiritual "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning," and the folk chestnut "John Henry" makes this a valuable document of how families entertained themselves before radio, television, and computers came along to alter everything. Insular, gentle, amateur, and endearing, Yonder Go That Old Black Dog is a fascinating album, intended mostly for music scholars, but with an undeniable charm that should appeal to the casual listener.