Crime & Punishment

Various Artists
GENRE: , ,
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 23 Apr 2012


"One of the best"  MUSIC WEEK



'It should be a crime not to buy this set, punishable by missing out on some great music' 6/6 REAL BLUES

CAT No: FVDD139UPC TEXT: 5055311001395

Full details

Bloody ballads, prison moans & chain gang blues. In a world where crime doesn’t pay there are two sides to every crime story. On the one hand, there’s the perpetration of the ghastly deed: the premeditated crime, perhaps painstakingly planned or a prolonged sadistic event; the crime committed in a moment or madness, swiftly enacted and just as swiftly regretted. And on the other side of the coin, there is the appalling inevitably of retribution: the law wins and the jail house beckons, with either the noose or a sentence of hard labour to follow.

Roaming across five decades of American music, drawing on the country’s rich legacy of blues, folk and country music, Kris Needs has constructed a 2CD compilation, with a disc apiece devoted to songs about Crime and the ensuing Punishment, at the same time exploring the wider implications of the former and the injustices of the Deep South’s Jim Crow system which also fed the penitentiaries. Kris will be well known to many Fantastic Voyage customers for his editorship of Zigzag during its second golden age during the punk/new wave era, and for his championing of cutting edge music through the subsequent decades.

Kris has previously curated critically acclaimed compilations for our sister label Year Zero. Crime & Punishment features his characteristically informative booklet notes, and comes packaged in original Kris Needs artwork.



  1. I’m Gonna Murder My Baby (Pat Hare)
  2. Worrying Blues (Macon Ed & Tampa Joe )
  3. Stackalee (Frank Hutchison )
  4. Murder’s Gonna Be My Crime (Sippie Wallace )
  5. The Murder Of The Lawson Family (The Carolina Buddies )
  6. Lord Randall, My Son (Josh White)
  7. Duncan and Brady (Dave Van Ronk)
  8. Don’t Take Your Guns to Town (Johnny Cash)
  9. I’m Gonna Kill That Woman (John Lee Hooker (as Texas Slim))
  10. I’m Gonna Cut Your Head Mama (Homer Harris)
  11. Your Funeral and My Trial (Sonny Boy Williamson )
  12. Frankie (Mississippi John Hurt )
  13. Down in the Willow Garden (The Everly Brothers )
  14. Knoxville Girl (The Louvin Brothers )
  15. Henry Lee (Dick Justice )
  16. Dying Crapshooter’s Blues (Blind Willie McTell )
  17. John Hardy (Lead Belly )
  18. Star Bootlegger (Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup )
  19. Down On the Banks of the Ohio (The Blue Sky Boys )
  20. The Killer (Cisco Houston )
  21. Gangster’s Blues (Peetie Wheatstraw )
  22. Prison Bound Blues (Leroy Carr )
  23. High Sheriff Blues (Charley Patton )
  24. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Paul Robeson )
  25. Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday )


  1. How I Got In The Penitentiary (Bama)
  2. Early in the Mornin’ (22, Little Red, Tangle Eye & Hard Hair )
  3. Parchman Farm Blues (Bukka White )
  4. DeKalb Chain Gang (Fred McMullen )
  5. Buggy Jail House Blues (Lillie Mae )
  6. Murder in the First Degree (Victoria Spivey )
  7. Workhouse Blues (Mattie May Thomas )
  8. Memphis Jug Band (as The Memphis Sheiks) (He’s in the Jailhouse Now)
  9. I Fought The Law (The Crickets)
  10. Okie’s in the Pokie (Jimmie Patton )
  11. The Last Meal (Hurricane Harry )
  12. It Makes a Long Time Man Feel Bad (22 & Group )
  13. Jail House Blues (Lightnin’ Hopkins )
  14. Penitentiary Moan Blues (Texas Alexander )
  15. Shelby County Workhouse Blues (Hambone Willie Newbern )
  16. Prison Cell Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson )
  17. Ball and Chain Blues (Peg Leg Howell & Jim Hill )
  18. Kenny Wagner’s Surrender (Ernest Stoneman )
  19. Tom Dooley (The New Lost City Ramblers )
  20. The Gallows Pole (Odetta)
  21. Slip Know (Woody Guthrie )
  22. Old Dollar Mamie (22 & Group)
  23. Tangle Eye Blues (Tangle Eye)
  24. Big Mac from Macamere (Mattie May Thomas )
  25. Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (Blind Willie Johnson )