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Fricke’s Picks: Vintage Urban Pop

There was a time, in the first half of the 1900s, when boogie and blues pianists were as urban and commercial as Jay-Z, making black pop and party music about no money, mo' problems. Classic Piano Blues (Smithsonian Folkways) stars Meade "Lux" Lewis, Champion Jack Dupree, James P. Johnson, Sammy Price and other masters in later recordings, many for the Folkways label, when the music was treated more like vanishing folklore. But there is no shortage of rolling dynamite or hurtin' truths.

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