Louis Armstrong & Sidney Bechet: Coal Cart Blues
Coal Cart Blues
Sidney Bechet: Pre-War Classic Sides (JSP 933)
Bernard Addison (guitar).
Composed by Louis & Lil Armstrong.
Recorded: New York, May 27, 1940
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Since the post-Civil War development of its rich bituminous beds, West Virginia's coalfields have been as treacherous as minefields. While jobs abounded, workers endured appalling health-&-safety hazards. The 20th century, however, brought mechanization. By 1940, 70% of coal mined in the state was loaded mechanically. Mountaineers found the only thing worse than being a mineworker was being an unemployed mineworker. This track dramatizes industrialization's double-edged sword. "The cart was hard and almost killed me up," Satchmo relates with an authority born of his own youthful experience pushing such carts through New Orleans' notorious Storyville district. Post-cart, however, "I'm about to lose my very mind." Never was Paul Whiteman's aphorism "Jazz is the folk music of the Machine Age" better demonstrated.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
Tags: new orleans