A self-described "sharecropper and songster," Texas singer and guitarist Mance Lipscomb
didn't just play the blues, although he was well acquainted with both the realities and cultural myths of the genre. He also played ballads, reels, rags, waltzes, children's songs, and spirituals, and was even known to tackle a foxtrot or polka when the situation called for it. This 22-track compilation collects some of the key recordings from the five LPs the songster issued with Chris Strachwitz
's Arhoolie Records, including fine versions of "Jack O'Diamonds," "Sugar Babe," and "Tom Moore's Farm," and Lipscomb
's warm, unassuming, and gentle approach shines through even when he dips into the darker regions of the blues.