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Hubby Jenkins Picks His Top Five!

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 —Brian Smith

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.

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. 

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! 

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. 

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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