Joseph Spence
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Born in the Bahamas, Joseph Spence was a black singer and guitarist who revolutionized the way folk music is performed. His repertory mixed hillbilly folk music, church hymns, spirituals, but also square dances, polkas, waltzes, calypso, and interpreted it in a surreal, almost sarcastic way. Centerstage was Spence's intricate, polyphonic and polyrhythmic guitar style.

In 1944 and 1945 Spence worked in the USA, in Florida, Georgia, Carolina, Tennessee, Delaware. Then he returned to the Bahamas, but didn't record anything until the field recordings collected on The Complete Folkways Recordings, 1958 (Smithsonian, 1992). It was followed by Bahaman Folk Guitar (Folkways, 1959). His most original album was probably Happy All the Time (Elektra, 1964) He later recorded Good Morning Mr Walker (Arhoolie, 1972), Living On The Hallelujah Side (Rounder, 1980) and The Spring of Sixty-Five (Rounder, 1992).

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