A Smithsonian Collect0993

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    A Smithsonian Collect0993 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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Review

Review Text While any collection professing to be a definitive overview of a genre usually falls short of the mark, it's hard to find fault with this excellently researched and compiled four-disc set from the Smithsonian Collection. Running the recorded history of the music chronologically, the first disc explores the early sides by guitarists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Barbecue Bob, Blind Willie Johnson, and Tommy Johnson, and classic blues singers like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Sippie Wallace. Volume two rounds up sides from Leroy Carr, Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie, Son House, and Big Joe Williams, as well as off-the-beaten-track delights from the Memphis Jug Band and the Mississippi Sheiks. The third volume continues in the history of Delta blues with classic entries from Robert Johnson and Bukka White, moving into the Bluebird beat, ending up with the first recordings from John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins. The final disc is a veritable feast of Chicago blues with classic sides galore from Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, and Jimmy Reed, finishing with more contemporary offerings from Ray Charles, Latimore, and a retro style closer from Cephas & Wiggins. The transfers on the really vintage sides are as good as any you're likely to come across, and the song selection throughout is impeccable. Add a sumptuous booklet chock-full of photos and an abundance of historical facts, all well-annotated by W.K. McNeil, and you've got a box set for the ages. Very, very well done. ~ Cub Koda

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. That Black Snake Moan - 3:53
  2. 2. Broke and Hungry Blues - 3:03
  3. 3. Match Box Blues - 3:50
  4. 4. Shake That Thing - 3:00
  5. 5. Shave em Dry - 3:40
  6. 6. Countin' the Blues - 3:11
  7. 7. Jailhouse Blues - 3:15
  8. 8. Mama's Got the Blues - 3:58
  9. 9. Back Water Blues - 3:19
  10. 10. Special Delivery Blues - 3:26
  11. 11. Death Sting Me Blues - 3:55
  12. 12. Barbecue Blues - 3:13
  13. 13. Mean Trouble Blues - 3:06
  14. 14. Long Lonesome Day Blues - 3:05
  15. 15. Kansas City Blues (Pts. 1 and 2) - 7:35
  16. 16. Why Don't You Come Home Blues - 3:47
  17. 17. Dark Was the Night - 3:23
  18. 18. Minglewood Blues - 4:42
  19. 19. Cool Drink of Water Blues - 4:35
  20. 20. Big Road Blues - 3:23
  21. 21. Bull Doze Blues - 3:28
  22. 22. How Long, How Long Blues (Part 1) - 3:03

CD: 2

  1. 23. Blues Before Sunrise - 4:35
  2. 24. Downtown Blues - 3:13
  3. 25. Stack O Lee Blues - 3:58
  4. 26. Rolling Mill Blues No. 2 - 3:06
  5. 27. Mr Johnson's Blues No. 2 - 3:58
  6. 28. Pony Blues - 3:58
  7. 29. Forty-Four Blues - 3:07
  8. 30. Bumble Bee Blues - 3:49
  9. 31. I'm So Glad - 3:40
  10. 32. Dirty Dozens (No. 1) - 3:14
  11. 33. Diving Duck Blues - 3:16
  12. 34. K. C. Moan - 3:33
  13. 35. Sittin on Top of the World - 3:14
  14. 36. M & O Blues - 3:05
  15. 37. Dry Spell Blues (Pt. 1) - 3:10
  16. 38. Devil Got My Woman - 3:00
  17. 39. Chain Gang Bound - 4:44
  18. 40. Broke Down Engine Blues - 3:10
  19. 41. Big Bill Blues - 3:58
  20. 42. I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town - 3:54
  21. 43. Old Original Kokomo Blues - 3:53
  22. 44. Strut That Thing - 3:53
  23. 45. Crow Jane - 3:54
  24. 46. Baby Please Don't Go - 3:20

CD: 3

  1. 47. First Time I Met You - 3:50
  2. 48. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom - 3:59
  3. 49. Cross Road Blues - 3:31
  4. 50. Peetie Wheatstraw Stomp - 3:35
  5. 51. Good Morning, Little School Girl - 3:01
  6. 52. Sloppy Drunk Blues - 3:16
  7. 53. Sent For You Yesterday - 3:59
  8. 54. Roll 'Em Pete - 3:51
  9. 55. We Baby Blues - 3:55
  10. 56. Fixin' to Die Blues - 3:48
  11. 57. Step It up and Go - 3:54
  12. 58. Anna Lou Blues - 3:55
  13. 59. Worried Life Blues - 3:56
  14. 60. I've Been Treated Wrong - 3:17
  15. 61. T-Bone Blues - 3:17
  16. 62. Call It Stormy Monday - 3:01
  17. 63. Mozelle Blues - 3:56
  18. 64. It's a Low Down Dirty Shame - 3:51
  19. 65. Cherry Red - 3:10
  20. 66. That's All Right - 3:55
  21. 67. Drifting Blues - 3:16
  22. 68. Mr. Blues Jumped the Rabbit - 3:50
  23. 69. Boogie Chillen - 3:10
  24. 70. Tim Moore's Farm - 3:40
  25. 71. No Rollin Blues - 4:02

CD: 4

  1. 72. Lousiana Blues - 3:57
  2. 73. Honey Bee - 3:23
  3. 74. Reconsider Baby - 3:13
  4. 75. Eyesight to the Blind - 3:02
  5. 76. Monkey Woman Blues - 4:07
  6. 77. Hound Dog - 3:51
  7. 78. Mystery Train - 2:25
  8. 79. Hoodoo Man - 3:08
  9. 80. Everyday I Have the Blues - 5:28
  10. 81. Smokestack Lightnin' - 3:08
  11. 82. Sky Is Cryin' - 3:50
  12. 83. Woman Blues Boogie - 3:10
  13. 84. Farther up the Road - 3:59
  14. 85. I'll Take Care of You - 2:22
  15. 86. First Time I Met the Blues - 2:21
  16. 87. Rooster Blues - 3:35
  17. 88. So Many Roads, So Many Trains - 3:13
  18. 89. Big Boss Man - 3:50
  19. 90. I Got a Woman - 3:54
  20. 91. Join the Army - 4:38
  21. 92. Let's Straighten It Out - 3:28
  22. 93. Dog Days of August - 5:13

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