Skip James

Worried Blues

  • FP15951
  • Rough Trade Exclusive for physical retail.
  • Release Date: September 22nd 2017
  • $27.99

Skip James' given name, Nehemiah, comes from the Old Testament governor who won from Artaxerxes, King of Persia, the right to rebuild Jerusalem and reestablish the Judaic religion. Nehemiah James was more faithful to his nickname than his faith, leaving and returning to the fold sporadically throughout his life. Like his father before him, Skip James vacillated between the pulpit and the fringes of the law, as opportunities and the need for survival presented themselves (Skip claimed that both he and his father had been ordained Baptist ministers). Of all the so-called blues "rediscoveries" of the 1960s, Skip James was the most enigmatic. While he could be a loyal friend and ingratiating performer, Skip was not one to suffer fools, cheats, bigots, or inferior music gladly. These incidents served to heap fuel on a man who was already, often as not, temperamentally inclined toward anger. The survival of Skip James' music in the 1960's was all the more remarkable for his having abandoned it after the commercial failure of his records due to the Great Depression in 1931. Skip had correctly felt that they were a major accomplishment, but when he discovered that they were not to have an effect on his livelihood, he turned to other work in order to survive, allowing music to remain formant in his life for more than thirty years..