Good ol' Jeff Konkel at Broke and Hungry Records (whose entire catalog you should own or be ashamed of yrself) just turned me on to the premier release by North Carolina's Devil Down Records called Mississippi Fred McDowell : Come and Found You Gone- The Bill Ferris Recordings.  Recorded over the course of a night in August of 1967 with the assistance of Mr. McDowell's wife Annie Mae and Napoleon Strickland. This is an all acoustic set recorded at the home of a friend of the McDowell's. A field (sans field) recording with all the inherent sounds of life one would find in that type of situation. This recording shines and breaths and welcomes you into the room to sit and hear the north Mississippi master up close and very personal. Close your eyes and, like a 3D movie, you'll feel you can reach right out and touch Mr. McDowell's slide hand as it glides and grinds up and down the neck his acoustic and feel his breath in the mic. Eighteen tracks including an interview with Bill Ferris and a spirited conversation between Mr. and Mrs. McDowell. 

From the Devil Down Records site:  
     These recordings are different from any other of Fred McDowell due to their very nature: rather than conducted with the production of a record in mind, the recordings were made casually over the course of a night. McDowell is here heard at his best, relaxed and energetic, performing many of his most famous songs as well as songs never before heard. With his foot tapping on the hardwood floor and laughter in the background, “Come and Found You Gone” brings the listener into that hot night in August, 1967, immersing them in the world of the blues house party, and guiding them through the night as it unfolded… The 18 track album includes a 16 page booklet featuring liner notes from blues researcher and Rolling Stone Magazine top 10 Professor Bill Ferris, Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, and leading French blues scholar Vincent Joos. This booklet also contains a dozen award-winning photographs taken by Bill Ferris in 1970 at Otha Turner’s 4th of July picnic in Potts Camp, Mississippi. 

This is an essential recording that I know all my friends will love. 

Mississippi Fred McDowell- Letter from Hot Springs MP3

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