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Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams

A 76-page hardcover book featuring extensive liner notes and biographical research by Michael Corcoran. Grammy-nominated and winner of the 2017 Living Blues Magazine Historical Album of the Year.

After fielding inquires about the hauntingly beautiful songs from listeners around the world, in 2013, we checked in with Michael Corcoran, the leading researcher on Phillips, to see if any new information had been uncovered. Indeed, Michael had some leads, but he would need a working budget to track them down. Three years later, after combing through various archives and talking with the last surviving people from the Simsboro-area who remembered Phillips, we now know the name of Phillips’ homemade instrument (the Manzarene); when, where and how he died; and many anecdotes about what his life was like.

We are excited to share this story in Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams, a new book by Corcoran accompanied by recordings made by Phillips between 1927-29. To ensure a superior listening experience, we tracked down the most pristine original copies of Phillips’ 78-rpm records, created high resolution transfers and had the audio expertly remastered for the best-sounding Phillips reissue to date. Hear the sublime, hypnotic and ethereal music of Washington Phillips in clarity like never before!


1. Mother’s Last Word to Her Son
2. Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There
3. Paul and Silas in Jail
4. Lift Him Up That’s All
5. Denomination Blues — Part 1
6. Denomination Blues — Part 2
7. I Am Born to Preach the Gospel
8. Train Your Child
9. Jesus Is My Friend
10. What Are They Doing in Heaven Today
11. A Mother’s Last Word to Her Daughter
12. I’ve Got the Key to the Kingdom
13. You Can’t Stop a Tattler — Part 1
14. You Can’t Stop a Tattler — Part 2
15. I Had a Good Father and Mother
16. The Church Needs Good Deacons