Down In Mississippi

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cd cover: thunders mouth by Scott AinslieJ.B. Lenoir

Far back’s I can remember
Either had to plow or hoe
One of those long ol’ nine feet sacks
Standin’ at the old turn row.

Down in Mississippi. Down in Mississippi.
Down in Mississippi where I was born
Down in Mississippi where I come from…

They had a huntin’ season on a rabbit
If you shoot him you went to jail.
The season was always open on me:
Nobody needed no bail.

Nothing I got ‘gainst Mississippi,
It also was the home of my wife.
But I count myself a lucky man
Just to get away with my life.

J.B. Lenoir (1929-1967) was just 38 years old when he died, probably as the result of an auto accident he suffered three weeks prior to his passing. ‘Down in Mississippi’ was recorded in the turbulent 1960s and produced with the remarkable Willie Dixon for Horst Lippmann, a German blues enthusiast and producer who allowed the musicians the freedom to actually say what needed to be said. I first heard this tune while accompanying Sara Grey with Fraser Speirs at Common Ground On the Hill in Westminster, Maryland.

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