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Sweetest That I Know
Gareth Hedges

Tracks:

1. Deep River Blues - Trad. Delmore Brothers, Doc Watson
I first met Doc in Boulder, Colorado with son Merle when I was travelling with Bluegrass maestro Pete Rowan. We spent a week there, and I still carry memories of this song and of these three incredible musicians.

2. Tell Me Tell Me Baby - Gareth Hedges
A simple bluesy rhythm reminiscent of the guitar style of Sylvester Weaver.

3. Bell Buckle Rag - Gareth Hedges
In central Tennessee in the 19th Century cows wore a bell buckle, a ring (collar) that cowbells could be attached to. That's the story I got when living in Bell Buckle south of Nashville.

4. Got The Morning Blues - Trad.
The Jim Kweskin Jug Band recorded this song in the 70s and left behind a wealth of great songs. Maria Maldaur was with them and all the band members were a classy act.

5. Angi / Thank You Davey - Davey Graham / Gareth Hedges
On seeing and hearing the magical beauty that Davey portrayed in his performances, I became hooked on guitar playing. I never learnt his famous Angi correctly, so called my creation 'Thank You Davey'. The 'A' part is similar to the original 'B' and 'C' parts I added on.

6. Blood Red River - Trad. Big Bill Broonzy
Broonzy recorded prolifically from 1928 - 58. His influence was huge. A powerful voice and a superb guitarist.

7. Cotton Picking - Gareth Hedges
An influence from Elizabeth Cotton who I met in New York in the 1970's when she was almost 80 and still touring. A beautiful gentle singer and fingerpicking guitarist, but with a difference. She held the guitar upside down and picked the melody notes with her thumb and the bass notes with her fingers. FREIGHT TRAIN is her most famous song.

8. Lady Luck - Gareth Hedges
This song arrived sometime after I had been listening to a stunning duo of the 1920's/30's. Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson both played an important part in raising the profile of the acoustic guitar.

9. Little Hill, Big Hill - Trad. O'Carolan
Turlough O'Carolan, the 17th Century blind, roving harpist left behind many beautiful tunes. People everywhere I go seem to love this piece.

10. Going Where The Sun Shines - Gareth Hedges
An influence from Fred McDowell who I travelled with in his later years. A gentle man who played raw Delta blues with great sensitivity. He built fantastic rhythms with hypnotic riffs that to me are like a train gathering momentum.

11. Spitting On The Sidewalk - Miller - Calt
John Miller is in a class of his own as a fingerpicker. I met him in Boston in 1978 and his uncanny ability to revamp a Gershwin classic or a Bo Carter blues is amazing.

12. Good Little Thing - Trad. Blind Willie McTell
My adaptation from the great 12 string guitarist Blind Willie McTell, who recorded in the 1930's and 40's.

13. Gabriella - (Gareth Hedges)
Gabrielle and George ran folk festivals in the Halle Germany area in the 1980's and 90's. After dinner one evening Gabrielle asked me to play guitar, so I did. A short while later they disappeared. I played music all night, and when Gabrielle came to the kitchen for breakfast I had written this piece for her. She liked it.

14. You Gotta Move - (Mississippi Fred McDowell)
McDowell's influence reached far and wide. The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and many others recorded his songs and my thanks go to Chris Stratwich of Arhoolie Records who recorded Fred in 1964. This led to recognition and tours in the U.S.A. and Europe.

15. Sweetest That I Know - (Gareth Hedges)
I wrote this song early in my career in 1925. Just kidding. It's in the Delta style of Charlie Patton (1891 - 1934) and son House (1902 -1988) who I stayed with in the summer of 1980. Their influence was indelibly felt, and acknowledged by many of the great Chicago Blues artists.

Sweetest That I Know

Sleeve Notes:

'Gareth Hedges is a guitar player and singer who plays a wide range of blues, ragtime, jazz and greta tunes. He works extensively in the USA and has played with many wonderful musicians during his career. This CD would probably classify as Blues with Gareth playing songs by Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Willie McTell and Mississippi Fred McDowell, and if that's what you like then you need to give this a listen.

However, this CD deserves your attention even if Blues or American music is not your first choice. There are some gems here; Gareth's arrangement of the O'Carolan tune "Little Hill, Big Hill" has a freshness that delights the ear. He has the technical ability to make it sound effortless, never on this CD does the playing get in the way of the music. The guitar playing is always relaxed and crystal clear and never feels rushed, even when Gareth's playing the kind of thing the rest of us only dream about.'

Jerry Bix / What's Afoot Folk Magazine

   
Gareth Hedges
Delta & Country Blues, American & Celtic Folk, Jazz Classics,
&
Original Songs & Instrumentals.
6, 12 string & Dobro resonator guitar
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