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Hubby Jenkins Picks His Top Five!

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Thirty-year-old Hubby Jenkins earned his stripes and learned his chops busking New York City streets, and man can you hear those rattle-tat sidewalk serenades in the soul in his voice and playing. That reach-out-and-touch-you folk and R&B is in his blood now, and it's no stretch to call him a young master of the forms. He also happens to be a walking encyclopedia on African-American history and old-time music, and that too informs the beauty and joy in his playing and songs. Hubby's a madman on instruments like banjos and guitars (and bones!)—he can pick and rip and thump. His rich, powerful voice glides effortlessly between gentle traditionals of heartbreak to day-to-day proletariat hardships. In 2010, Hubby joined Grammy-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, because they know a Real Deal when they see it. Here Hubby gives us his Top Five albums ever (this week). Go see him on Friday at Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. Thirteen-year-old Delta blues guitar sensation Roman Barten-Sherman opens. For more info, go to montereycourtaz.com. —Brian Smith

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1. Various Artists–Altamont: Black Stringband Music from the Library of Congress: Though the banjo is an African American instrument pre-war recordings of old time are mostly white. That's why Altamont was so stirring to me the first time I heard it. Musicians brought together by John Work III of Fisk University, these recordings are a great window into black banjo style.


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2. Curtis Mayfield–Curtis Mayfield Live at the Bitter End: A hero of mine from a young age. This album was recorded just after leaving The Impressions, strips down Mayfield's songs of love and socio-political change to their grooviest essence. 


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3. Richard Pryor–That Nigger's Crazy: Like Curtis Mayfield: Pryor figured out a way to make biting social commentary funny for everyone. His bit about police brutality is just as relevant today as it was when it was recorded. Not for kids! 




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4. Various Artists–American Primitive: People familiar with traditional American music know of the folk bible known as the Harry Smith Folk Anthology. In my heart this series is just as important and essential. 




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5. Various Artists–Calypso at Midnight: A wonderful concert put together by folklorist Alan Lomax. This collection opened my eyes to the variety, wit, and downright coolness of calypso. 


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