Another Old Song for a New Depression. Josh White was one of the first professional folk singers. He settled in New York in the 1930s and by the '40s he was an established night club performer and recording artist. He had a legitimate pop music hit with the novelty tune One Meat Ball and performed all over the world as an early star of the folk revival. Before he became a Folk Singer, he was a folk singer. He made a lot of blues and gospel recordings starting in 1928 at the age of 14. He played in the style that's now called "Piedmont Blues," although before the term was coined in the 1970s there was no generally agreed upon name for it. Other leading practitioners of this style included Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, and, another folk singer who became a Folk Singer, Brownie McGhee.
White made this record in 1932 when he was 18 at a New York session where he recorded 28 sides. The record company paid his mother $100 for the entire session. It was released as a "race" record, meaning music for the black market. It shows off White's polished vocal and guitar technique. I'd describe it as a cross between Reverend Gary Davis and Lonnie Johnson. Some see the influence of the semi-legendary Willie Walker, author of Betty and Dupree, on White's guitar work. He was strongly influenced by jazz and swung hard on this number.