James Cole String Band

James Cole was one of a small number of black fiddlers from the historic '20s and '30s stringband days whose playing managed to be documented on recording, but he certainly isn't one of any small number of people named James Cole. Factor in a few named Jimmy Cole and there is the making of some kind of not all-star, but cool all-Cole combo. There is even strong reason to believe there were actually two fiddlers from the same era named James Cole, but even some of the most intense detectives from the ethnomusicology department have given up sorting out who is who. Both came out of what would be called country blues, but a more accurate as well as entertaining label is old time hokum blues, a description leading in the directions of jug bands, old-time music, and a netherworld of forbidden contacts between black and white players.

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