Nehemiah "Skip" James 

Skip's Piano Blues

GCD 9910

Buy this CD for $14.00

For more of Skip James, see
GCD 9901
She Lyin'

1. All Night Long
2. Rock Island Blues 
3. Little Boy, How Old Are You 
4. Four O'Clock Blues
5. Black Gal 
6. Little Cow and Calf 
7. How Long Blues 
8. Vicksburg Blues 
9. Lazy Bones 
10. Walking the Sea
11. 22-20 Blues 
12. Special Rider Blues

Skip James was born in Bentonia, MS, June 9, 1902. He died of cancer October 3, 1969 in Philadelphia, PA.

This uncommon collection "provides an unprecedented--and indispensable--look at Skip James, pianist," says Peter Aschoff of Living Blues Magazine, who reviewers nominated Skip's Piano Blues for Best Historical Recording of 1996. The most enigmatic of the 'rediscovered' bluesmen, James, the guitarist, typically reserved his piano playing for encores to performances whic he found particularly satisfying. These recordings, made in the company of friends and fellow musicians shortly after his return to the limelight in 1964, reveal the true complexity of James' personality, as he experiments with tempo and melody line, mixing lighthearted ballads, grim folktales and gospel standards and offering personal recollections between songs.

For more biographical information on Skip James, please see GCD 9901, She Lyin'


Known primarily as a guitarist, blues man Skip James was also gifted as a pianist. Recorded in 1965 when James was 63, these tracks show his mastery of the piano styles of the 1930s, when he first recorded for Paramount. These aren't frenetic boogie-woogie numbers; rather, the songs display almost a Thelonious Monk-like skeletal approach to chording and rhythm. Particular standouts are the gospel-inspired "Little Boy, How Old Are You?" and "All Night Long," which shows some clever chord variations. While these 12 piano songs don't display the legendary intensity that made James's 1930s guitar-based blues so memorable, they're still well worth listening to for their simple yet evocative beauty. Jim Catalano for

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