On December 5, 1927, the day after Blind Willie Johnson recorded some of his most influential blues sides at an impromptu Columbia Records recording studio in Dallas, in walked an equally mysterious and haunting musician, Washington Phillips. Phillips carried a homebrew instrument - later described as a “dulceola” but, as we learn on today’s podcast, actually two zithers he fabricated together. The otherworldly music coming out of those zithers, combined with Phillips’ powerful singing and songwriting, created some of the most awe-inspiring and mysterious sounds ever recorded. It’s no wonder Phillips has been covered by Ry Cooder, Jorma Kaukonen, Will Oldham and others.
“Where did this come from? That still remains the mystery,” Corcoran concludes. “I still don’t know that… you really will never know the motivation of the artist…”
Discussed in this podcast:
http://www.pickaway.press/fz/wp.html (page dedicated to Washington Phillips’ instrument)
http://www.dust-digital.com/washington-phillips/ (Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams)