Almost Dead Blues

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Overview

Much darker than Free Again or I’ve Grown So Ugly, Almost Dead Blues tingles the spine with Williams’ haunting vocal and guitar performance. Playing a mixture of his main accompaniment riff, his double-stop solo refrain, as well as a unique way of playing the IV chord, again this awesome style is wrapped up with his unmatched rhythmic sensibilities — jumpy staccato notes and all sorts of wonderful syncopation, making it sound more like two guitars at once.

Steadily throughout the recording, as with his other recordings, he picks up the tempo, almost pressing his advantage once getting you hypnotized with his rhythms. All the while, the remarkable beats he plays stay just as rhythmically great. Overall, this is another excellent tune by Williams and one that’s a minor-mood contrast to his other tunes!

Workstation

Standard — but each string detuned one half-step, so Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb

Spoken:
You know, I walk along sometime, to myself. I wonder, “Does ev’ybody have the same idea that I got?”
Sometime I has a mind to leave this place. I tell my people that sometime–but they say:

“You know, you doin’ time.” Yeah, I do know I’m doin’ time, but I thinks about my brother then
All of them is well, and I’m the one that’s been hangin’ around here

I take the blues bad sometimes. I got somethin’ to tell you, baby, but I hate to tell you this
You may not want to hear it. Sometime I be walkin’ along, feel like to me I’m gon’ fall dead

She asks me what’s wrong with me. I don’t know, maybe my nerves bad. ‘Cause I don’t drink that much
But I think the most of it–just about worked out

But you know, the way I work outchere, baby, now, it’s many mornin’ to go back there and work
You know, they, they do allow a man a break up there
But I ain’t had nary here, since I been here. Work you up in there

Sung:
But I don’t blame nobody, nobody but myself
I don’t blame nobody, baby, nobody but myself
Lord, what I did down there, brought it all on myself

You better draw me an insurance, darlin’
So you can have somebody to debt on me
‘Cause I liable to haul off and die, baby
Ain’t about the thing that you get after my death

Song History

Septmber to November 1960
Baton Rouge, LA
Arhoolie / City Hall Records — F 1001 (2012)

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