Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary

Description: CD in hardcover, 84-page book featuring extensive liner notes by Ted Olson. Includes download/streaming code.
Publication Date: February 19, 2016
Availability: In stock

Price: $20.00

“Alfred Reed’s story is that of a man looking within to find a light by which to navigate the darkness within and without.” – Ted Olson

Born blind on June 15, 1880, in Floyd County, Virginia, Alfred Reed grew up on a West Virginia farm. In the 1920s, when radio became available in his area, Alfred listened to and enjoyed performances by several of the era’s popular singers. Alfred would purchase songbooks and hymnbooks, and his wife Nettie would read the lyrics to him. Because the songs he learned from others did not always express aspects of what he was thinking, feeling, and experiencing, Alfred felt compelled to compose his own songs, and he was exceptionally talented in this endeavor—a craftsman with many things to say. Relying upon his talent to generate money for supporting his family, he played music on the streets of nearby towns, gave music lessons, performed at dances and various social and church gatherings, sold printed copies of his own lyrics, and, in 1927 and 1929, made the commercial recordings included on this set.

Read about Ry Cooder covering Blind Alfred Reed’s “You Must Unload” at a show in New York on November 15, 2015:

Watch Bruce Springsteen perform Blind Alfred Reed’s “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live” in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina:

1. Blind Alfred Reed – The Wreck of the Virginian
2. Blind Alfred Reed – I Mean to Live for Jesus
3. Blind Alfred Reed – You Must Unload
4. Blind Alfred Reed – Walking In The Way With Jesus
5. Blind Alfred Reed – Explosion In The Fairmount Mines
6. Blind Alfred Reed – Fate Of Chris Lively And Wife
7. Blind Alfred Reed – Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls
8. Blind Alfred Reed – Always Lift Him Up And Never Knock Him Down
9. Blind Alfred Reed – The Prayer Of The Drunkard’s Little Girl
10. The West Virginia Night Owls – Sweet Bird
11. The West Virginia Night Owls – I’m Goin’ To Walk The Streets Of Glory
12. Orville Reed – The Telephone Girl
13. Blind Alfred Reed – Woman’s Been After Man Ever Since
14. Blind Alfred Reed – Why Do You Bob Your Hair Girls-No. 2
15. Blind Alfred Reed and Orville Reed – There’ll Be No Distinction There
16. Blind Alfred Reed and Orville Reed – We’ve Got To Have ‘Em, That’s All
17. Blind Alfred Reed and Orville Reed – Beware
18. Blind Alfred Reed and Orville Reed – The Old-Fashioned Cottage
19. Blind Alfred Reed – How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live
20. Blind Alfred Reed – Black And Blue Blues
21. Blind Alfred Reed and Orville Reed – You’ll Miss Me
22. Blind Alfred Reed – Money Cravin’ Folks