Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blank and Blues: White House Blues

John Renbourn: White House Blues


It's the anniversary of President William McKinley's death, so forgive me if I cannot help but post a favorite version of White House Blues which I had kickin' round the ol' hard drive. The tune has been covered plenty, with classic versions by Charlie Poole and others on the list of greats, but I've always liked Pentangle founder and acoustic stringmaster John Renbourn's take, with it's slightly jarring harmony vocals rising like a ghost to haunt the otherwise gentle folk performance from Faro Annie, the British guitar wizard's 1971 LP of mostly traditional folk tunes.

For comparison's sake, fellow folkblogger Matt of A Truer Sound has three more great versions from Bill Monroe, Muleskinner, and Scott H Biram, plus a much more cohesive look at both the history of the song and the unfortunate events surrounding McKinley's assassination.

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