Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night
Blues Music from the Florida Folklife Collection

Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night CD Cover

The music presented on Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002.

Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard Blues by Albert "Buck" Thompson, Charles Atkins and Martin "Tampa Blue" Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont Blues.

Download the disc as a ZIP file containing 320kBps MP3s.
Contact the State Archives of Florida to request a complimentary CD.

Liner Notes

The Blues has enjoyed a rich and varied tradition in Florida. Folklorists such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alan Lomax, and Stetson Kennedy documented Florida Blues from the late 1920s until the early 1940s. Blues musicians received widespread attention during the 1960s Blues and Folk music revival. In 1978, the North Florida Folklife Project began to reexamine and document performances by Blues musicians throughout the state.

The music presented on this CD was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002. Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard Blues by Albert "Buck" Thompson, Charles Atkins, and Martin “Tampa Blue” Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo, Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont Blues. Other performances from the Florida Folk Festival include renditions of classic Blues forms on piano with powerful and colorful vocal performances from Ida Goodson, Mary McClain, Marie Buggs, and Alex McBride. Florida Folk Heritage Award winner William "Washboard Bill" Cooke's unique combination of Blues, street performance, and folk art illustrates the musician’s love for his home state. Songs by Roy Book Binder, Johnny Brown, Sammy Lee Williams, and Johnny Shines exhibit masterful talents with traditional Blues forms through their performances of original material.

With the work of folklorists and archivists, as well as the legacy of creation passed on to future generations by the artists themselves, Florida Blues music will remain to be treasured and enjoyed.

1. Palm Trees Shakin’ in the Night – Roy Book Binder (3:40) (download)
Recorded: May 28, 1994 (Florida Folklife Program)
1994 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D94-13)

2. Careless Love – Ida Goodson (2:47) (download)
Recorded: May 30, 1982 (Florida Folklife Program)
1982 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, T83-37)

3. Rollin’ Stone – Albert “Buck” Thompson (2:10) (download)
Recorded: February 14, 1985 by Mary Anne McDonald (St. Johns River Survey)
Hastings, Florida
(S1714, reel 23)

4. Step Up a Little Bit Bigger – Sammy Lee Williams (1:35) (download)
Recorded: April 13, 1980 by Dwight DeVane
Florida Record Project: Drop On Down in Florida (Florida Folklife Program)
Pahokee, Florida 
(S1576, T83-90)

5. Dog Days of August – Cephas and Wiggins (4:27) (download)
Recorded: May 25, 1991 by Sherry King (Florida Folklife Program)
1991 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D91-8)

6. Apple Farm Blues – Moses Williams (2:54) (download)
Introduction recorded: May 29, 1982
Apple Farm Blues recorded: May 23, 1981 (Florida Folklife Program)
1981 and 1982 Florida Folk Festivals
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, T83-51 and T81-46)

7. Nobody Likes Mexico Like I Do – Johnny Brown (2:08) (download)
Recorded: May 10, 1978 by Brenda and Stephen McCallum (North Florida Folklife Project)
St. Petersburg, Florida
(S1576, T78-316)

8. St. Louis Blues – Mary McClain and Ida Goodson (5:59) (download)
Recorded: May 29, 1982 (Florida Folklife Program)
1982 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, T83-27)

9. M&O Blues – Martin “Tampa Blue” Locklear (5:29) (download)
Recorded: May 24, 2002 (Florida Park Service)
2002 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S2034, CD02-42)

10. Crow Jane Blues – Etta Baker (3:23) (download)
Recorded: May 28, 1994 by Nancy Buchanan (Florida Folklife Program)
1994 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D94-28)

11. Old Time Rounders – Emmett Murray (2:45) (download)
Recorded: March 9, 1980 by Dwight DeVane and Peggy A. Bulger
Florida Record Project: Drop On Down in Florida (Florida Folklife Program)
Pahokee, Florida
(S1576, T83-63)

12. Feelin’ Fine Today – Marie Buggs and Isaac Hamilton (2:44) (download)
Recorded: May 24, 1986 (Florida Folklife Program)
1986 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, T86-117)

13. In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down – Alex McBride (3:43) (download)
Recorded: May 30, 1993 by Ben Stainer (Florida Folklife Program)
1993 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D93-30)

14. Have to Pay the Cost – Johnny Shines (2:43) (download)
Recorded: April 16, 1977 (Florida Folklife Program)
1977 Portable Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, T77-277

15. Key to the Highway – Charles Atkins and the Blues Boys (3:44) (download)
Recorded: May 26, 1995 by Janet Stainer (Florida Folklife Program)
1995 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D95-40)

16. Sunshine Florida – William “Washboard Bill” Cooke (1:59) (download)
Recorded: May 27, 1995 by Gerry Langevin (Florida Folklife Program)
1995 Florida Folk Festival
White Springs, Florida
(S1576, D95-24)

17. Unidentified – Richard Williams (4:16) (download)
Recorded: May 27, 1978 by Dwight DeVane and Brenda McCallum (North Florida Folklife Project)
Newberry, Florida
(S1576, T78-328)