Belton Sutherland, “I Have Trouble”

While skimming through the Alan Lomax Archives’ YouTube account today I came across what is, in my mind, the Holy Grail of Lomax field recordings: a never-before-seen video of Belton Sutherland. Sutherland has long been a favourite around See That My Blog is Kept Clean, and adding a third song to his very limited output is a momentus occasion. Needless to say, I am currently very excited. Excitement aside, the song itself is a departure from the previous two Sutherland recordings that have been available to the public, as Sutherland abandons the powerful droning basslines of his other works, producing otherwise excellent rendition of Muddy Waters’ “I Be’s Troubled”/”I Can’t Be Satisfied”. Sutherland’s version of the tune is slowed down with a lot more emphasis on pauses and phrasing, and while sounding somewhat untutored, Sutherland turns Waters’ trademark boastful delivery into more of a lament. This new Sutherland track is accompanied by the release of both of earlier tracks on the official Alan Lomax Archives YouTube account, including a slightly more complete recording of “Old Grey Mule” (now officially labelled “Blues #1”). Watch the video for “I Have Trouble” below, and be sure to enjoy the newly available extra 15 seconds of “Blues #1,” here, as well as the officially available “Blues #2,” here.

Belton Sutherland, “I Have Trouble” (1978)


1 Comment

Filed under Blues, Contemporary Blues, Field Recordings, Folk, Lomax, Music

One response to “Belton Sutherland, “I Have Trouble”

  1. csearl

    I stumbled upon your blog searching more information on Belton Sutherland. Your post on the similarity to Muddy Water’s “I Be’s Troubled” go me think about some of the lyrics to Sutherland’s other tunes in Blues #2.
    After a little digging and reading I think that Blues #2 sounds similar to Blind Willie McTell’s “Broken Down Engine”.but at a slowed down rhythm. It also includes lyrics from “Strange Things Happening” by Percy Mayfield. mixed in.with “The Way I Feel” by Sonny Terry. Maybe that’s why he starts with “I feel like hollering..”, a country-way to preface the song in that he doesn’t know all the words but will sing (holler) whatever he’s thinking at that moment?
    Your thoughts?

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