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Elizabeth Cotten, Volume 3: When I'm Gone

Elizabeth Cotten, Volume 3: When I'm Gone

In the mid-1940s, Elizabeth Cotten (1895–1987) chanced to meet composer Ruth Crawford Seeger at a department store. They began to talk, and Seeger soon hired Cotten to work in the Seeger household. It was here that Cotten became motivated to pick up the guitar again—it had been so long she had forgotten she knew how to play—and she began playing professionally in her early eighties.

The material chosen for this recording includes songs and tunes from her childhood, such as “Praying Time Will Soon Be Over” and original compositions like “When I’m Gone.” She accompanies herself on her guitar, strung in the usual right-handed way yet played left-handed, with the guitar upside down. This album showcases her unique style, described by Mike Seeger as “a synthesis of turn-of-the-century parlour music, blues, church songs, and a little ragtime.” Liner notes include extensive selections from conversations between Cotton, Mike, and Alice Gerrard.

Track Listing

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101
New Year's Eve Elizabeth Cotten 3:17
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102
Praying Time Will Soon Be Over Elizabeth Cotten 3:15
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103
Time To Stop Your Idling Elizabeth Cotten 2:33
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104
Gaslight Blues Elizabeth Cotten 4:50
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105
Jenny Elizabeth Cotten 2:42
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106
Street Blues Elizabeth Cotten 2:17
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107
Home Sweet Home Elizabeth Cotten 2:24
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201
Freight Train Elizabeth Cotten 3:11
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202
Casey Jones Elizabeth Cotten 1:49
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203
Willie Elizabeth Cotten 5:08
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204
Boddie's Song Elizabeth Cotten 2:18
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205
Wilson Rag Elizabeth Cotten 4:53
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206
When I'm Gone Elizabeth Cotten 4:47
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