Skip to main content

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

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

.