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Bull Frog Blues by William Harris

Possibly the first Mississippi Delta blues man ever to record was William Harris.  In the Delta he performed in and around Glendora and Swan Lake before leaving Mississippi with a medicine show.  In 1927, he recorded at the Gennett Electrobeam Studio in Birmingham, Alabama.  In 1928, Harris recorded his Bull Frog Blues in Richmond, Indiana.  This tune differs a bit from the form of the standard blues verse.  The blues authority, Samuel Charters, refers to it as, “...a verse form with a delayed completion on the first line....”  The heavy strumming rhythm of his guitar playing gave an energy to William Harris’ early recording that makes Bull Frog Blues a classic.

We've been looking for a swamp where bullfrogs might hangout, and Dublin Break seems to fit the bill.  It is an outstanding fishing hole; what a place and what a day to record!  The people are out here in force, most of them fishing with cane poles.  Of course we don't expect to hear any bullfrogs in the middle of the day.  If we were to come back tonight, they too would be out in force.  This place is teaming with life... geese in the road, turtles on logs in the pond and people scattered all along the bank.  The fish strike in and around cypress tree roots, and for today at least, there’s a guitar picker working up to do a fingerstyle version of William Harris’ Bull Frog Blues.  We find a shade tree and before we’re gone have our little corner of the pond jumping.