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Barrelhouse Buck: Backcountry Barrelhouse

Barrelhouse Buck: Backcountry Barrelhouse

Thomas “Barrelhouse Buck” McFarland (1903–1962) was raised in St. Louis, where many of his contemporaries played a gutsy style of boogie-woogie piano known as “barrelhouse.” McFarland’s playing had a rougher and more insistent rhythm, perhaps inspired by his early days as a drummer. Producer Sam Charters described Buck’s playing as having a rural quality to it, giving it the “backcountry” name. Although this session was recorded only eight months prior to his death in 1962, it is clear that McFarland remained faithful to the classic barrelhouse style he had developed in the 1920s and 1930s. As in other Charters productions, the artist also entertains the listener with reminiscences of his early recording career.

The liner notes describe McFarland’s musical influences and the evolution of his “backcountry” style.

Track Listing

101
Lieutenant Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:41
102
Alton Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 1:38
103
Four O'Clock Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 1:58
104
20th Street Blues (Twentieth Street Blues) Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:17
105
Mercy Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 1:37
106
So Long Buck Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:30
107
I'm Going to Write You a Letter Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 3:41
201
Mary, Ain't I Been One Good Man to You Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:52
202
Reminiscences: Balling the Jack and First Recordings Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 3:23
203
Make Me a Soldier of the Cross Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:59
204
Nina Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 3:53
205
Taylor Avenue Blues Thomas McFarland (Barrelhouse Buck) 2:43

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