A wild romp through 18 tracks recorded during Uncle Dave Macon
's heyday period of 1926 through 1934, Go Long Mule
is uniformly strong if not exceptionally complete. These are some of the most vibrant examples of old-timey music likely to be found, with Macon
charging through shouters like "I'm Goin' Away in the Morn" and "Sail Away Ladies," even literally stomping out the rhythms of "Way Down the Old Plank Road." Joined by the Fruit Jar Drinkers
, the call and response of "Hold the Woodpile Down" and "Carve That Possum" are prime examples of the very best of early string band music. With pleas to abandon automobiles in favor of the horse and buggy, Macon
's songs frequently make deceptively poignant statements about Depression-era America. He even slows the pace down for a few well-chosen ballads, occasionally displaying intricate banjo work for which he rarely gets sufficient credit. Overall, there may be better Macon
sets on the market, but Go Long Mule
is, nonetheless, a wildly enjoyable ride.