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1. Deadwood: Music From HBO Original
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2. Lightning in a Bottle
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3. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
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4. Essence
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5. Down in the Basement: Joe Bussard's
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6. Etta Baker With Taj Mahal
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7. Original Delta Blues
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8. One-Dime Blues
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9. Anthology of American Folk Music
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10. Ramblin'
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11. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues:
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12. Lackawanna Blues
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13. Avalon Blues : Complete 1928 Okeh
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14. The Complete Studio Recordings
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15. Martin Scorsese: Best of the Blues
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16. In Your Arms Again
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17. Complete Collection
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18. Tap the Red Cane Whirlwind
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19. Railroad Bill
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20. Legacy

1. Deadwood: Music From HBO Original Series
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Asin: B00076YPUI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 593
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The West of veteran TV writer/Deadwoodcreator David Milch is as grim as it is gritty, sprinkled with salty dialogue and punctuated by sudden brutality and raw sexuality. The original soundtrack cues by composer David Schwartz (represented here by his evocative show theme), Michael Brook and Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek play off that vision with often stark rootsiness. But it's the series' rich slate of songs -- choices whose inventiveness often rivals that of The Sopranos -- that consistently reinforce its all-too-human drama, if not the crusty veneer. This collection gathers the best songs from the series' first season, coloring the milieu with evocative hillbilly romps like Michael Hurley's "Hog of the Forsaken" and the a capella grace of Margaret's Native American "Creek Lullaby." But the collection's musical eclecticism stretches far beyond mere genre concerns, variously encompassing the nascent jazz of Jelly Roll Morton (a rollicking "Stars and Stripes Forever"), Delta blues of Bukka White and Mississippi John Hurt and even Gustavo Santaolalla's hypnotic Brazilian fretwork. But the collection's country and folk-tinged performances are its most resonant, whether invoking earthy traditions (the gospel fervor of the late June Carter Cash's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's more heretical "God and Man") or more contemporary stylings like Lyle Lovett's "Old Friend" and the gentle "Twisted Little Man" by Michael J. Sheehy.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great companion to the show
Since Carnivale is in such dire straits, I've really gotten into this HBO show, which serves as a good replacement in my heart. For those not in the know, its a gritty, violent western that takes place in the gold-mining camp of Deadwood, where famous names like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane traipse through. I knew I would enjoy the soundtrack, as it had a lot of blues and country stuff I was familiar with. June Carter Cash singing 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' would turn even the most hardcore atheist into a believer, and the Bukka White and the Jelly Roll Morton tracks were great too, but there were so many other amazing surprises on it for me. Top song is called 'Hog of the Forsaken' and is this nuts piece of fiddle and yodel and lunatic lyrics. I loved it. There are other tracks on the CD that are good songs, but do not work within the context of the show, specifically 'Twisted Little Man', which doesn't sound very western at all. Still, a high quality selection of tracks, and the show soundbites on the disc, which contain more cussin' then Tarantino in the shower, are great too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dusty, grim and sometimes poignant (like the series)
As a fan of the series Deadwood, I found this soundtrack CD to be both satisfying on its own merits and a successful evocation of the spirit of the series.It contains a lot of authentic American music that has the traditional feeling appropriate to the Old West setting of the show.There's gospel, folk, country, blues, and many pieces of miscellaneous instrumental music.It's telling that when the music producers wanted a true-sounding version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," they went to the source, June Carter Cash.I also like the fact that they filled their show and this disc with many excellent songs by relatively unknown artists like Mark Lee Scott and Michael Sheehy.However, I think my very favorite music from the CD are some of the instrumentals, especially the themes by Gustavo Santaolallo and the great Michael Brook.In between the music, there's also a great deal of dialogue samples from the show -- and that's what gives the CD its parental advisory label.(The presence of strong language in those dialogue samples will be no surprise to anyone who has seen Deadwood!) ... Read more


2. Lightning in a Bottle
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Asin: B0002YCVH4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1313
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Amazon.com

This soundtrack to the movie features an astonishing array of blues artists from three generations. Recorded during one long night at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Feb. 7, 2003, the electricity is in the air and on stage. While it may not have been the finest blues show in history, the collection of founding fathers such as David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Buddy Guy, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Larry Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, Solomon Burke, and the ubiquitous B.B. King along with their spiritual offspring (Gregg Allman, John Fogerty, and Steven Tyler) and some usual suspects like Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, andKeb' Mo', makes it arguably the most significant blues session ever captured on film.

Beginning acoustic, the double disc builds momentum and volume as we hear the blues mutate to electric and finally hip-hop with Chuck D. exploding on a rap version of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom." The crackling house band led by drummer Steve Jordan provides foundation for gritty, roof-raising pieces like the unusual collaboration between former New York Doll David Johansen and guitarist Sumlin on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor." Not all of the film's music is included but there are enough magnificent performances for established blues fans and to entice those first experiencing the genre's abundant riches. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more


3. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
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Asin: B0000033I0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1776
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

A million or so collections, all from different record labels, document this Detroit blues guitarist's influential boogie-woogie career. This 16-song Rhino CD is an excellent starting point, with definitive versions of Hooker's classics "Boom Boom," "Boogie Chillen'," "I'm in the Mood," and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer." It's interesting to hear the singer's voice progress from a deep, growling slur to the more polished later material, such as his collaboration with slide guitarist Roy Rogers on Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues," but he never lost his bottom-line rawness. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stuff Legends Are Made Of!
Every once in a while, a budget disc comes along that is surprisingly good. Such is the case with Rhino Records release of "The Very Best of John Lee Hooker." On this release, Rhino combines 16 stand out tracks and some nice liner notes which briefly describe the man as well as the origin of each of the tracks. The selection of songs range from Hooker's signature "Boogie Chillen'" recorded in 1948 through "Terraplane Blues" recorded with slide man Roy Rogers in 1987. This is not a comprehensive collection nor was it ever intended to be. Instead, you get a flavor for a younger John Lee Hooker and his amazing guitar work. The recording quality is excellent especially considering the age of the songs. Well worth the purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars 16 John Lee Hooker classics all in a row!!!
This great CD from Rhino collects 16 classic tracks from John Lee Hooker's awesome career!!!Includes:Boogie Chillen',Crawling King Snake,Boom Boom,Big Legs,Tight Skirt,Shake It Baby,One Bourbon,One Scotch,One Beer,Terraplane Blues(with Roy Rogers!),and more!!!An awesome collection!!! Two thumbs up!!! Five stars!!! A+

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine starting place
This single-disc compilation actually does a better job than Rhino's double-disc "The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990)", from which these tracks are taken. It's not a complete career overview, of course, but where "The Ultimate Collection" tries and fails to be definitive, "The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker" doesn't strive to be "ultimate", but only to provide a good introdution to the daunting legacy of the Hook.
And it does a superb job, collecting sixteen of Hooker's best song, including "Boom Boom", "Dimples", "I'm Bad Like Jesse James", "Big Legs, Tight Skirt" and "It Serves You Right To Suffer".
A perfect introduction for the curious.

5-0 out of 5 stars simply and absolutely Blues
It's the best way to enter the world of the blues and the finest way to realise why the man with the guitar is the one make you feel good everytime you want to relax.It's the combination of that electrical tone and the rough voice that relax you during or after a dificult day.It's simply and absolutely blues.

5-0 out of 5 stars pioneer of the blues
There is nothing like drawing the shades close, putting on a set of headphones, and listening to a good John Lee Hooker disc. Whether it be something from the late 40's or his newest releases back in 2000 with John Lee Hooker and Friends. That is what was great about this man, he just got better as time went on. To start out, The Very Best of John Lee Hooker is a great way to get into him if you are interested in the blues. You wont be dissapointed. The Classic Boom Boom, One Scotch, One Beer, are great, but the others that you may never heard of are just as good. It serves You Right To Suffer, Burnig Hell, and Crawlin' King Snake are just a couple on this cd that will grab you. I give this disc 5 stars and then some. ... Read more


4. Essence
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Asin: B00005B8GS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3672
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Few artists in recent memory have been able to wring more from less than Lucinda Williams. The hauntingly beautiful, wistful, and often breathtaking Essence is another case in point of how far raw emotion and honesty can carry an artist. Williams's singing is at its paralyzing best throughout 11 bare originals, an incredibly affecting vocal performance by a woman who was not blessed with exceptional tone, range, or pitch. Throughout, her voice is incredibly naked, vulnerable, and wrought with feeling. "Blue" and "Broken Butterflies" are gorgeous anti-lullabies whose simple melodies belie their poignant ruminations. The title track is a sultry and susceptible sex-as-drug come-on while "Reason to Cry" has all the hallmarks of a classic country lament. The only departure from the subdued mood is "Get Right with God," a rousing gospel tune that practically begs for salvation through punishment and is the rare acknowledgement of a world beyond Williams's own fears and desires. More meditative than the personal narratives found on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Essence is ultimately more powerful. Williams wallows in sorrow and weakness, and the result is moving and disarming. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (162)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
I really liked Sweet Old World and loved Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, but I was totally unprepared for this CD which literally just ripped my heart completely out. From these reviews I guess some Lucinda fans see the simple lyrics and spare arrangements as dull or lazy, to me they're clearly deliberate and integral to the raw yet poetic tone of the entire recording, which often ventures beyond her country/folk roots to a more elemental mode of musical expression. While very simple, when taken in context with the mood and delivery (what delivery!) of each song, these stripped-down lyrics have incredible strength by virtue of their powerful and emotionally charged imagery. I found myself ready to cry halfway through my first listen to "Lonely Girls" and was pretty much a helpless wreck through the remainder of the CD. It's still incredibly powerful about two dozen listenings later. Some tracks are of course stronger than others (and the live loop effects do get a little tiresome), but on the whole this is the most intimate, unaffected, sensual and heartbreaking music I've heard in a very long time. It's been haunting me day and night since I first heard it.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Excellent Songs by Lucinda
If you like good songwriting and are familiar with Lucinda Williams sound, you can't go wrong with this album. I had only heard "Car Wheels" and some older material prior to purchasing this CD, and after listening to it about 10 times, I can tell you it is a great CD. The only issues I have is that the first four songs, while pleasant enough, just don't contain the "umph" that drew me so close to "Car Wheels" which is one of my top three all time favorite albums. That all changes when the CD hits track #5, "Out of Touch". Lucinda jumps from simple repetitive (ex. "Lonely Girls" - Sweet Sad Songs x3, Heavy Blankets x3, I should know x3) verses into more personal observations and stories on this song. Sure you get more of the repetitive style on the title track, but the honey dripping off the song will gum up your CD player! By far, "Essence" is probably one of the most lusty songs ever written. "Bus to Baton Rouge", "Get Right With God" - everything from track 5 on is easily as good, if not better, than "Car Wheels", but with just a slightly different feel. Overall, though, a four-star album by Lucinda Williams is probably about 10 times better than a five-star album by a lot of other artists.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Lucinda Williams CD yet
Lucinda Williams is a very talented songwriter and performer. She varies a bit from CD to CD in style, moving between a country-cajun and blues sound.

The sad, almost mournful sound of this work really appeals to me. I liked every song, especially Blue, I Envy The Wind, and Lonely Girls.

If you are looking for a mellow sorrowful Lucinda, this is your CD. Or maybe you're just depressed.

Mike

5-0 out of 5 stars Did You Miss This One?
Well, you shouldn't have. The much-anticipated follow-up to Car Wheels suffered at the time of its release for not delivering what many expected. It got reviewed not for what it is, an intimate take on being a woman with and without love, but for what it is not -- Car Wheels, Part Two. I still haven't figured out what Get Right With God, a revival gospel number, is doing here. And Bus to Baton Rouge, while a musical fit with the rest of the CD, recounts a different theme, an adult visit with mixed emotions to the childhood home. Everywhere else on the remaining nine cuts Lucinda is all about love -- or the lack of it. Among other takes, she's a lonely girl under heavy blankets, a thief after love, a jukebox-playing seeker of solace, and a betrayed broken butterfly. But better than all these, she absolutely nails what it feels like to be obsessed in love, when she envies the wind, rain and sun touching her lover every moment of the day and in the refrain from the title cut -- I am waiting here for more, I am waiting by your door, I am waiting on your back steps...

Lucinda's latest CD is a falloff from her peak, but don't believe that of Essence. Three years after its release, it deserves to be seen finally for what it is -- a quietly breathtaking CD every bit as strong as, and distinct from, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

5-0 out of 5 stars if Neil Young was a woman...
If Neil Young was a woman, he'd probably be Lucinda Williams; both have that world-weary angst, both have rather thin voices that are decidely not pretty, but that carry a lot of power and emotion. Both are totally unique and brilliant, and write with an honesty that is rare these days.
In this collection of mellow songs, Lucinda explores God, lust and loneliness, and in very simple phrases captures a world of human emotions.

The musicianship is superb, and among the deluxe performers that play along with Lucinda on acoustic guitar are: Jim Keltner on drums; Tony Garnier on bass; Bo Ramsey on electric guitar; David Mansfield on violin and viola; Reese Wynans on Hammond B3 organ, and Charlie Sexton on a myriad of instruments
Favorites for me are "I Envy the Wind", with lyrics that every woman can identify with at one time or another in her life, "Are You Down", with such great work from Bo Ramsey and Reese Wynans, the hungry for love title song, and the fabulous "Get Right with God", which is the only up-tempo number on the CD.

The daughter of poet Miller Williams, Lucinda's songs have been covered by singers like Patty Loveless ("Night's Too Long") and Mary Chapin Carpenter ("Passonate Kisses"), and have earned her the coveted Grammy Award. Gutsy and gritty, this CD shows an artist that has character, and the strength to stand alone in a world full of copycats. The booklet insert contains all the lyrics, and total playing time is 51'03. ... Read more


5. Down in the Basement: Joe Bussard's Treasure Trove of Vintage 78s 1926-1937
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Asin: B00009MGQU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3673
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars I swear I can almost smell his cigar!
This is the most fun I've ever had with a compact disc. Joe Bussard spent his entire life searching shotgun shacks for dusty old 78s. Now he lives to share them with anyone with an ear or two. I'm telling you, there should be a Saint category for this (Remind me to email John Paul II after I'm done here).

The music is completely joyous. The well-designed booklet holds many great tales of Bussard's record-hunting expeditions. Listening to the CD and reading his stories makes me feel like I'm in his damn basement, digging Stack-O-Lee right along with Joe and his cat.

If you want to hear some real honest-to-gosh beautiful roots music that you won't find anywhere else, go Down in the Basement; it's among the best the twentieth century had to offer.

Thanks Joe! And let's have a second volume soon!

Ed Kaz 1.20.04

5-0 out of 5 stars Down in the Groove
This record is a complete blast, from the track selection to the packaging. Joe Broussard owns 50,000 78s of gospel, old country, blues, cajun, etc and 24 of them made it on this disc. The sound is sparkling and the only clunker track is "Give the World a Smile" by the Corley Family. Good to hear some obscurities alongside Rev Gary Davis and Big Bill Broonzy and I'm glad the world has at least a couple of pale record freaks who like to sit in their basements sniffing shellac and collecting pristine old-time music. Makes me want to go steal a Victrola!

5-0 out of 5 stars Two dozen time machines that work
Joe Bussard has one of the coolest record collections on earth.
He started his own pirate radios station in his parent's basement when he was a teen in the later 40s. He later did real radio shows and still does. He started collecting records when he was 12 years old and he still does. He started his own record label called Fonotone and John Fahey recorded his first records in Joe's basement. This comes with a 74 page incredible illustrated an informative book. Too bad there's only ONE disc considering the size of Joe's collection, but we can all hope and pray for this to be the first in a loooooooong series of such anthologies. This set of 24 old-time songs, hillbilly whoops, jazz, country blues, gospel, jug bands, and more, feels as alive today as the moment it was created. This is so great, get it and you'll be rewarded with some incredible music and a cool visit with Joe Bussard by way of the extensive liner notes and images.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Joe Bussard
Bussard is a legend among old record collectors and this opening of his vaults promises musical bliss. For the complete story on Bussard go to http://www.bluesworld.com/Bussard.html -- and after reading it you'll have to agree with the previous reviwer that one CD is not enough. Maybe there will be future volumes....

5-0 out of 5 stars Why oh why only one CD?! Buy it anyways!
The only problem with this CD is we get nice big fancy packaging and only one CD. Joe Bussard has 25,000+ 78's in his collection and we only get 24 of 'em?! This should have at least been a two disc set, at least. But who cares, the music is amazing and the booklet is entertaining. If your a diehard old time music freak you probably already have everthing on this disc, but if you're like me and are just now discovering this music, buy it, along with all the other Old Hat CD's and everything on Yazoo Records. ... Read more


6. Etta Baker With Taj Mahal
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Asin: B0006419LO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12403
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7. Original Delta Blues
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Asin: B000007T4P
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4364
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This Columbia Legacy reissue of the 1965 release is one of the few recordings available of one of the blues' founding fathers. It contains some of his best songs, which have unsurprisingly become classics of the Delta blues genre: "Death Letter," "Preachin' Blues," "Levee Camp Moan," "Pony Blues," and "Downhearted Blues" are all here. Though not as comprehensive as Father of the Delta Blues: The Complete 1965 Sessions, this CD is an excellent introduction to this seminal artist's work, revealing the creativity, passion, skillful guitar playing, and rich singing that helped form a whole new kind of music. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars texace on the Original Delta Blues - Son House
The is the real deal. Put this on your cd player with Bukka White, Walter Jacobs, Frank Frost, Muddy, Elmore James on random play and sit back. It don't get no better than this. Born and raised on piney woods and cajun rice between Leesville and Ville Platte, Louisiana in the 50's. Son House is in the same league with Bukka White.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not just blues, a history lesson
The more I study the forces that bound together the deeply American, and beautifully unique cultures of African Americans since the Civil War, I find myself referring to the Blues more and more. Son House, despite this recording being made in the 1960's, was a master story teller of an earlier era for the Southern United States; one divided by a still-bitter southern aristocracy and a young culture of black Americans struggling to write their own poetry that would come to define what it is to be a free black American. Son House influenced greats like Robert Johnson, another great story-teller, and more popularly driven Muddy Waters and others. I, like so many others, love to listen to blues guitar, and House plays one of the meanest, dirtiest, most hauntingly beautiful slide guitars ever recorded. However, listen to the man, and the story he is telling all of us with each sentence of every song. THIS is culture. THIS is history. THIS is the Blues. Accept no substitutes....you might just learn a thing or two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Raw and captivating - voice of lonely soul
There is so much built on blues out there, so much derived from it, that it is easy to forget where it all began. Son House is so raw, so unaffected by technical tricks or crafty ideas, so far from any pose, pretence or stereotypical imagery of show business that you feel actually privileged to be allowed to come into contact with his singing.

It is like entering an empty temple in an unfamiliar country: you have seen some of the signs, you have some of the knowledge about the faith, but the experience is new and humbling.

Yes, humbling is the word. If loneliness had a voice, it would be the voice of Son House.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short but sweet
Well, maybe "sweet" isn't the right word, but Columbia/Legacy's "The Original Delta Blues" is a really fine distillation of the label's double-disc set "Father Of The Delta Blues", containing 11 highlights from that comprehensive overview of blues legend Eddie "Son" House's 60s recordings.

These 55 minutes of music feature Son House and his National steel guitar, which he played with a slide, and Columbia have managed to include all of House's essential 60s songs.

The powerful a capella spiritual "John The Revelator" is here, as is the slashing slide guitar workout "Pearline", the sarcastic "Preachin' Blues", the bitterness of "Grinnin' In Your Face", and the fantastic 9½-minute "Levee Camp Moan" with Canned Heat's Alan Wilson playing great harmonica fills behind House's clanging, percussive guitar playing.

And then there's the awesome, razor-edged "Death Letter" ("I got a letter this morning / say, what d'y'reckon it read? / Said hurry, hurry, 'cause the gal you love is dead").
Music journalist Ted Drozdowski of the Boston Phoenix once wrote something like this about House:
"The voice of the great Son House not only sounds as though it could split the earth asunder, it is also the voice of a soul utterly alone".

I couldn't have said it better myself. Which is why I steal Mr Drozdowski's line.

4-0 out of 5 stars the master of the delta blues style
Son House taught Robert Johnson the slide blues. Son House taught Muddy Waters. When Son House started performing at Blues festivals again in the mid 1960s, Muddy Waters would tell all his band members to be quiet and pay attention when the man played because even compared with Muddy, this was the real deal.
Son House is the real deal. Listen and learn ... Read more


8. One-Dime Blues
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Asin: B0000002ZG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 26487
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars More people should know her story.
I grew up in Morganton, NC, Etta Baker's hometown. My mother worked in a textile plant called Skyland, sewing sleeves and tags on t-shirts, where Mrs. Baker worked as the janitor -- for many, many years. Mom says she is one of the sweetest, kindest people you could ever hope to know. Here's her story as I understand it: she was a well-regarded musician in the 1920's at social functions and clubs in the south, but when she married, her husband demanded that she abandon that lifestyle for a more familiar, traditional one. From that point on, until he passed on some 60 years later, she only played at home and at some family functions. Once he passed and she retired, she began to play publicly again and, of course, astonished everyone within earshot. I think Mrs. Bakers's music touches me because of the depth of context in her sound. The structure and influence of the music are unmistakably traditional blues (with a little Appalachain bluegrass mixed in), but instead of the "down-and-out" plot so typical of the blues, she turns heartache and sacrifice into hope, spring, sunshine and victory. I can hear this in her playing, and I know it mirrors her life. I catch myself wondering what might have been, but find solace in the something small - Etta Baker spent those "lost years" at a place called Skyland, a fitting name for a place that hosted at least two angels. I think Mrs. Baker would understand. I know my mom does.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favourite cd EVER!
I had One Dime Blues on a cassette. It got lost. For several years I was lost. Now I have it on cd and my life is back on track. This music makes me feel happy and brave and glad to be alive. Etta Baker plays the best guitar I've ever heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply breathtaking
This CD would be amongst the 10 CD's for the famous desert island, i would be allowed to take with. Straight from the heart, warm and earthy, one of the best guitar player i ever heard, and believe me, i heard a lot. ... Read more


9. Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
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Asin: B000001DJU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2317
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This impressive--and frankly, fun--musical document is still sending out shock waves almost 50 years after its original 1952 vinyl release. The Smithsonian's six-CD reissue is painstakingly researched, annotated, and packaged (even boasting an enhanced disc for the techno-capable). Unlike field recorders, eccentric filmmaker/collector/musicologist Harry Smith assembled the Anthology from commercially released (though obscure) 78 rpm discs issued between 1927 and 1935. Its broad scope--from country blues to Cajun social music to Appalachian murder ballads--was monumentally influential, setting musicians like Bob Dylan down the path to folk fandom. The White House started its own national music library with the Anthology; anyone with more than a passing interest in American roots music should do the same. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for a well-rounded pop music collection
You should buy this just to hear where all those folk and blues revivalists of the 60s got a large chunk of their material. Back then, these albums were the only way to hear these recordings unless you were willing to go to great lengths to collect old records (like the compiler of this Anthology, Harry Smith).

If you enjoy the Anthology music you can hear a lot more of the same style on Yazoo Records' various "rural music" anthologies. Nearly every disc they issue has an Anthology track or two on it, or other work by artists who appear on this Anthology. I actually find Yazoo's "Before The Blues" series more enjoyable, track for track, than this collection. It's likely, though, that there would be no Yazoo records today if the AAFM hadn't come along in the early 1950s. Also, this Anthology includes secular, spiritual and "social" music in a rather comprehensive way, so understandably there don't seem to be many people who like EVERY song. Even Harry Smith didn't like every song in the collection (read the liner notes).

5-0 out of 5 stars The first great collection of American folk song recordings
The "Anthology of American Folk Music" put together by Harry Smith was originally issued in 1952 in three volumes of 2 LPs each, with a total of 84 tracks collected from old records. It is said that this collection played a seminal role in the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s, influencing and inspiring the generation of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Once you listen to these songs you will have little doubt that was indeed the case. The three volumes focus on Ballads, Social Music, and Songs respectively. I did not recognize enough of these 84 songs to use all of the fingers on my guitar picking hand and I could not care less. You can look over the playlist above and see if anything looks familiar, but, obviously, that is beside the point here. These songs involve a definition of "folk" that is expansive enough to include blues singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Richard "Rabbit" Brown. The authenticity of these songs is overpowering, transporting you to a time and place when radio was just starting to make inroads into the backwoods of America.

The collection includes a 100-page booklet that features harry Smith's original handbook of songs, an essay by critic Greil Marcus, along with other essays, song notes, photos, graphics, and recollections by legendary artists about how this anthology inspired their own careers. The overall effect is like taking a college course on American Folk Music. Whether your interest in this type of music comes from listening to the Weavers, Peter Paul, & Mary, or the soundtrack to "Brother, Where Art Thou?" hopefully your enjoyment of folk music will lead you back to this seminal collection. Additional Note: There is also an excellent website put together by the Smithsonian Folkways that will tell you for not only alternate titles (e.g., "The Wagoner's Lad" is also known as "Loving Nancy" and "My Horses Ain't Hungry"), but other recorded versions organized by styles (e.g., traditional American Folk, Folksong revival, Post revival, Country/String Band, Bluegrass, and British). Like everyone else, I have been greatly impressed by the way the Smithsonian Institute has been protecting our nation's heritage when it comes to folk music. They take their job seriously and they are very, very good at it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary.
I dont think there is a need to go into to much detail about this *6 CD* set. If you can fork over the cash, just buy it. If you have any interest in roots music, just buy it. If you thought ol' Bobby Dylan and the Band made some great weird music in the basement of big pink in '67 .. for the love of god, BUY THIS! strange, unadorned, raw music , just buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
Much ink & many electrons have been devoted to explaining both Harry Smith (and a lot of explanation is necessary -- very interesting man) and this wonderful collection of recordings from the 1920's and 30's, so I won't go into too much detail here. If you'd like a good treatise on the work itself as a cultural object, and how it relates to other thematically similar items, I would reccomend Griel Marcus' book Invisible Republic.
This is the greatest mix tape ever made, and an essential cultural artifact, not only of the vernacular music of the hills & highways of pre-electrification America, but also of the folk movement ofthe fifties and sixties (the primer fromwhic all else was derived) and by extension of the hippy movement following closely thereafter.
SOme of this music is really wild...

5-0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, Beautiful and a Kick Inside
I half heard a story about the Anthology on Natl Public Radio a few months ago while I was getting ready for work. The story kept coming back to me, until I had to buy the Anthology to get some peace. Instead of peace, I find that I am now disturbed, intrigued, and haunted.

Music is ill-suited to being described in words, so I'll use an entirely different experience to try and convey what listening to this Anthology is like.

I once knew a fellow who had grown up on Bechtel construction project sites around the world. As a kid playing in the dirt at these sites, he'd collected a box full of those stone tools that humans made and used for something like three million years. I found that once I had turned one of these slips of chipped obsidian or shale over for a moment, it settled naturally into my hand. There was a spot for my thumb, another spot for my forefinger, and my hand was making a scraping or digging motion with the thing. The tool and my hand still remembered their ancient partnership, without any volition from me. This sensation was simultaneously disturbing and satisfying and made the hair stand up on my neck.

This sensation is very close to what I feel listening to this anthology. You will not hear the familiar, highly produced music we're now so comfortable with. You will hear the voice and sound of music as it has been for millions of years -- and you will recognize what you are hearing as being utterly, essentially human.

These recordings were, of course, made only 75 years ago in the 1920's, surely part of the modern era. Yet this was the last moment in time between the old world and the new world. We still sing and play music for the same reasons we always have, but the way we used our voices and instruments for millions of years has been changed by technology. So if these not very old recordings feel strangely like a link to something ancient and mysterious, that's because they actually are.

There is a great beauty in the voices on these recordings, many of which are almost shrill, almost off-key -- unfamiliar to our pampered contemporary ears -- but also perfectly right. There is a mystery in the odd and sometimes fragmentary lyrics, whose once important meaning is now lost.

We can still share the depth of feeling through the music itself, sometimes so strongly that your heart leaps as though you'd been kicked from inside. But, as it says in the booklet of notes, while we can share in the emotions that impelled someone to sing about The Coo Coo Bird in the first place, we'll never know why it was important to live on a mountainside in order to see Willie go by.

Perhaps the true power of this Anthology is that every recording is genuine in a way that is no longer possible. I recommend it. ... Read more


10. Ramblin'
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Asin: B000001DI6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9671
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure, distilled Lucinda.
This is a truly excellent album. An early Williams album, it was recorded for Folkways Records, who specialized in folk, jazz and the blues. The clean, simple guitar accompanyment accentuates Lucinda's voice and the songs she sings. She has chosen a collection of songs that includes blues, country and traditional and performs them all well. The blues covers are especially good.

This is a keeper.

4-0 out of 5 stars Really good accoustic blues
Lucinda Williams is a great find. This is all acoustic 12 string blues. There are three great Robert Johnson covers Ramblin on my mind, Malted Milk Blues, and Stop Breakin Down. The recording is all blues covers except Disgusted which sounds like a blues cover. Unlike most cover alblums this has a great oringal sound. BECAUSE LUCINDA WILLIAMS HAS A GREAT VOICE AND CAN PLAY GUITAR LIKE NOBODYS BUSINESS. I also like her record LUCINDA WILLIAMS.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ramblin'
Sweet. What Can I Say That Hasn't Already Been Said
About This Amazing Artist Lucinda Wm's She's Awsome
Dang it

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love This Album
I have to admit, first, that I am already a big fan of Lucinda's work. I saw her in concert in November and she puts on a great show. This album is different than her others. It's folk music in it's most simple form.

You can close your eyes and feel like you're listening to this on the porch of some old mansion in West Virginia circa 1919. If you are interested in historical music this is the CD for you.

It's timeless and so sweet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Southern comfort
"Purist stuff" is what Lucinda Williams called the material she used for this marvelous blusey folksy recording, made in 1978. There's an exquisite simplicity to the music, and superb musicianship; the only intruments are Ms. Williams on a 12-string guitar, and John Grimaudo on a 6-string. Though her voice might not be "perfect", it is remarkably expressive, with a unique and slightly nasal tone, and an elastic range. I find her sound much more satisfying then a lot of what I hear that is currently popular.

The songs are a delight, from the familiar, like the traditional "Motherless Children", to the rarer gems like Memphis Minnie's "Me and My Chauffeur".
Ms. Williams did the terrific cover photo, the remastering is excellent, and the total time is 44:20
This is an easy, peaceful CD, like an old time classic that takes you back to less complicated times, it is a comfort and a treasure. ... Read more


11. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey
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Asin: B0000A0VA1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2234
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Full title - Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues - A Musical Journey. Five-CD deluxe boxed set includes a comprehensivecollection of the music from the seven films airing on PBS. A definitive overview of blues, from its earliestrecordings over 80 years ago, to contemporary artists andnew recordings made specifically for The Blues. Music fromthe PBS Series The Blues, executive produced by acclaimedfilmmaker Martin Scorsese. 116 tracks on 5 CDs, plus60-page collector's booklet with stunning photos andilluminating essays. Features introductory essay by MartinScorsese. Gatefold digibox. Hip-O Records. 2003. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent blues primer
This is the "Year of the Blues," and "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" is as important a contribution as anything I've seen so far in the effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for blues music.

This CD box set is not the soundtrack to the video documentary series. Rather, it is a collection of songs representing the blues through the roughly 80-year history of recorded blues music. While there are some artists who should have been included and weren't, and there are a few selections that are really not appropriate to this collection, overall this is an excellent primer for anyone looking to understand blues music and its evolution.

It would be impossible for any collection to include every artist that is loved by every blues fan. However, most of the truly great and important blues artists are here, including Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Virtually every style of blues is also represented here, from the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans to Texas to Memphis to Chicago and even to Africa. And contrary to the assertions of some previously-posted critiques, the Piedmont style IS represented with Mississippi John Hurt's "Frankie." (While Hurt did not live in the Piedmont Valley area, he was nevertheless one of the most important Piedmont stylists in blues guitar history.)

I do disagree with the inclusion of a few artists whom I do not consider to be blues musicians, such as Jeff Beck and Los Lobos. (Jeff Beck is undeniably a brilliant guitarist, but he is not a blues guitarist.) The absolute worst song in the set is Peggy Scott-Adams' "Bill," a terrible song about a woman who discovers her husband in bed with his gay lover. Aside from the fact that the song is just plain awful, it is also not a blues song. I wonder who was paid off to have it included.

There are also a few omissions of important blues artists. Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the most important blues musicians of the 1950s and '60s but was not included. Little Richard was every bit as important to the creation of rock & roll as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry but is not represented. The omission of Dr. John, perhaps the most important blues pianist of the modern era, is inexplicable. More modern accoustic guitarists like John Hammond, Jr. and the incredible Rory Block should have been included (although the newly-recorded Keb' Mo'/Corey Harris cover of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" was almost worth the cost of the box set alone). And if Scorsese wanted a representation of blues-influenced Latino music, Carlos Santana would have been more appropriate than Los Lobos.

Notwithstanding a few flaws, however, this CD box set is an excellent representation of recorded blues history, covering the entire history of the blues and including most of the important artists and styles of this wonderful musical genre. I highly recommend it to anyone who is either desiring to learn about the blues or who is already a blues fan and is simply looking for a good thorough collection of great blues music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent material representing the entire blues genre!
This is the "comeback year" for the blues and "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" as good as good if not better than all blues cds so far. This is really a contribution as anything we've seen so far in the effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for blues music.

The best part is that it's personalized from Scorsese's own liking. People might agree the Rolling Stones should have been included, for instance, but this 116 song piece is not a "best-of the blues". It's more of Martin Scorsese's perspective of what the blues has achieved for America and beyond.

This CD box set is not the soundtrack to the video documentary series. Rather, it is a collection of songs representing the blues through the roughly 80-year history of recorded blues music. This is an excellent primer for anyone looking to understand blues music and its evolution.

It would be impossible for any collection to include every artist that is loved by every blues fan. However, most of the truly great and important blues artists are here, including Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Virtually every style of blues is also represented here, from the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans to Texas to Memphis to Chicago and even to Africa. And contrary to the assertions of some previously-posted critiques, the Piedmont style IS represented with Mississippi John Hurt's "Frankie." Also, Luther Allison and Johnny Winter ARE included also.

There are also a few omissions of important blues artists. Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the most important blues musicians of the 1950s and '60s but was not included. Little Richard was every bit as important to the creation of rock & roll as Fats Domino and Chuck Berry but is not represented. The omission of Dr. John, perhaps the most important blues pianist of the modern era, is near as bad as leaving out the Rolling Stones and their massive love for the blues. More modern accoustic guitarists like John Hammond, Jr. and the incredible Rory Block should have been included (although the newly-recorded Keb' Mo'/Corey Harris cover of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" was almost worth the cost of the box set alone). And if Scorsese wanted a representation of blues-influenced Latino music, Carlos Santana would have been more appropriate than Los Lobos.

Notwithstanding a few flaws, however, this CD box set is an excellent representation of recorded blues history, covering the entire history of the blues and including most of the important artists and styles of this wonderful musical genre.

Scorsese does a great job with the layout of the entire 5 disc set. Included is a color print book with song by song explanations co-written by a Grammy Award winning music writer, and many pages portraying blues from the very beginning(1830's) to today. I highly recommend it to anyone who desires learning about the blues, or a fan simply looking for a good thorough collection of great blues music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not just for the newcomer
This is a box set of 20th Century American music, not the Old Testament! Let the ethnomusicologist completist academic blathering heads debate the merits of inclusion and exclusion - just enjoy the tunes. This is worth it just to have discs for your New Year's Party. Sure Janis was an execrable no-talent and Disc 5 should've been made up entirely of Robert Pete Williams. That guy is so deep blues that I sleep with a kinfe when I listen to him at night! But what is a fellow to do?

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blues
Martin Scosese Presents
The Blues
A Musical Journey

Have you ever known someone that was interested in exploring blues music and came to you asking you for advice on which artists and recordings to start with? If this is a familiar scenario to you and you have made lists as long as your arm of artists and recordings that you hope will steer them on the right path of bluesdom, next time just recommend (or better still hand them) Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues, A Musical Journey (Hip-O Records), the five disc soundtrack to the documentary series that recently aired on PBS. This boxed set is handsomely packaged with a highly informative sixty page booklet that gives you a brief insight into every artist on the discs, along with a break down of every musician playing on each track and a great essay by noted writer Tom Piazza. This truly is a musical journey through the blues, containing over 117 tunes by almost as many artists, beautifully remastered to perfection so that even the oldest of recordings sound like they were cut yesterday. The names and tunes are way too long to list in their entirety but I'll try my best to give an overall and hopefully brief (this I gotta see) overview of each disc's highlights, otherwise this review will run longer than the last Presidential address. Disc One focuses primarily on the blues' entry and acceptance into the musical mainstream of the roaring 20's up to 1930. Oddly enough the disc's opening number "Shortnin" by Othar Turner and The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band is the only one not recorded during that period but serves as a portrait into the roots of the genre and is followed up by a field recording from the Alan Lomax Collection entitled "Long John," which is performed by a group of convicts on a state prison farm in Texas. The first real stars of the blues were women and they are represented by both Smiths, Mamie and Bessie, performing the classics "Crazy Blues," & "Muddy Water," respectively along with Ma Rainey's "Ma' Rainey's Black Bottom," which is probably musical history's first suggestive title. The rest of Disc One reads like a virtual who's who of legends and classic numbers such as:Frank Stokes' "Downtown Blues," Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Match Box Blues", Blind Willie McTells' "Statesboro Blues", Lonnie Johnson's "Guitar Blues" and Son House's "Preachin The Blues." One of the blues' greatest folk tales in the form of Mr. Skip James, who took thirty years off and persued a career in the ministry after his records did not sell well during the early days of the depression opens Disc Two. Considered by many to be a genuis of the early blues, his "Devil Got My Woman," represents that to the fullest extent and is followed by a pair of ultra classics, Leadbelly's "C.C. Rider," & Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go." Disc Two continues its journey through the 1930's with The Lady Day crooning "Billie's Blues," Robert Johnson picking out "Cross Road Blues," and the original Sonny Boy Williamson blasting his way through through his immortal "Good Morning Little School Girl." Halfway through Disc Two we switch decades and are treated to such gems of the 1940's like, Big Bill Broonzy's "Key To The Highway," Tommy McClennon's "Cross Cut Saw," Wynnonie Harris' "Good Rockin Tonight," Louis Jordan's "Let The Good Times Roll," and T-Bone Walker's timeless "Call It Stormy Monday." The 1950's saw the blues enjoy its biggest boom in commercial acceptance and Disc Three is filled to the brim with some of the most memorable and influential tunes that the blues and its artists ever produced. Memphis Slims "Mother Earth,"Percy Mayfield's "Send Me Somone To Love," Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88," and Elmore James' "Dust My Broom," start off Disc Three with a four punch combination that will rock you back on your heels before sending you to the canvas with Little Walter's,"Juke,". This particular disc illustrates the blues giving birth to its baby that they called rock & roll, with Big Mama Thornton's original version of "Hound Dog," (Big Mama made all of about five hundred dollars off this recording and died pretty much broke while some truck driver from Memphis made millions with the same tune, go figure!) Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knockin," Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love," Fats Dominoe's "Blue Monday," and the timeless rock & roll anthem, Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode." Also included on Disc Three are classics like The Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin," Muddy's "Hoochie Coochie Man," Bobby Bland's "Further On Up The Road," and Sonny Boy Wialliamson's (Rice Miller) Don't Start Me To Talkin." Disc Four gives us an intricate look at the state of the blues in the 1960's and the influence that it had on both American and British rock artists who were weaned on the tunes of the masters. The Jeff Beck Group's cover of Willie Dixon's "Ain't Superstitious," features a very young Rod Stewart on lead vocals while John Mayall's Bluesbreakers cover of "All Your Love," has a young Eric Clapton playing lead. Fleetwood Mac (gee did they once play the blues?) turns in a crushing version of "Black Magic Woman," with the twin guitars of Jeremy Spencer & Peter Green. Meanwhile back on home soil Bob Dylan tears through "Highway 61 Revisted," while Hendrix converts legions of rock & rollers with "Red House," and Janis Joplin and The Butterfield Blues Band do the same with "One Good Man," and "I've Got A Mind To Give Up Livin," respectively. While the rock genre was enlightening a new generation, John Lee Hooker recorded "Boom Boom," Albert Collins cut "Frosty," and Junior Wells released his signature "Hoodoo Man Blues." Etta James' "Tell Mama," turned a few heads and a new female singer by the name of Koko Taylor who was discovered by Willie Dixon raised a few million eyebrows with "Wang Dang Doodle." The 60's were a turbulent time for America and the impact that the blues made during that period is still being felt today throughout rock & roll. Disc Five begins in 1969 with B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," and closes with the recently recorded acoustic duet of Corey Harris & Keb Mo doing the prettiest cover of "Sweet Home Chicago," that it's been my pleasure to hear in quite some time. In between these two classic numbers, the 70's,80's 90's right up to present day is represented by a wide spectrum of artists and styles whose music has forever effected the blues' direction. Johnny Winter's "Dallas," Derek and The Dominoes' "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," The Alman Bothers "One Way Out," and Hound Dog Taylors' "Give me Back My Wig," represent the 70's which pretty much was dominated by hard rock and is considered one of the toughest decades for post WWII blues. But, being as hard times is what the genre founded its roots in, the blues treaded water in a swirling sea of hard rock and disco. The 80's are represented by a young man who is credited with kicking the music industry in its ass and making them take the blues seriously again, Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughn. One of his best tunes "Pride and Joy,"is included here along with big brother Jimmie Vaughn's band,The Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Tuff Enough." Also from the 80's is Robert Cray's "Smoking Gun," and a duet of "I'm In the Mood," between John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt from his monumentous The Healer album. The 90's get a well rounded look with Luther Allison's "Cherry Red Wine," Peggy Scott Adam's "Bill," (which is a totally new spin on the old cheating lover scenario) Keb Mo's "Am I Wrong," and Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn." Three other recent recordings in addition to "Sweet Home Chicago," are included with the best being the live duet between Robert Cray and Shemeika Copeland exploding on "I Pity The Fool." Cassandra Wilson's gorgeous voice gives new meaning to J.B. Lenoir's "Vietnam Blues," while Bonnie Raitt does ample justice to his "Round & Round," and Los Lobos does the same to his "Voodoo Music." This is the end of the journey blues fans. Well for now anyway. You can sort of look at this set as one hell of a roadmap to one of the best musical journeys you can possibly make with the rest of the journey being all around you as you read this. This is probably the best chronological record ever assembled of the music that changed the face of American music forever as the selections both mentioned and not mentioned in this review are the best of the best. Alot of you may already have a great deal of these recordings that are included here in some form or another, but it's the combination of the choice of selections and the remastering that make this package a must for every blues fan whether they are just learning about the blues or are already lifelong fans. Being a five disc set can mean it can be a bit on the pricey side, but I found it for around forty eight dollars at a couple of membership warehouse stores and it was worth every cent. With the holidays approaching it would make a completely awesome gift for the blueslover in your life or perhaps even yourself. This is one journey you will want to take several times.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Best Blues Collection?... Hardly....
I don't claim to be a Blues expert by any means, who is? ...but this collection could have been something really special if more of the unknown artists from the past and present were included here. Yeah, we all know about Jimi, Stevie Ray, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, etc. Why do we need to have them represented here again? Some of the newer artists included here hardly earned their dues and a few others shouldn't even be on this recording at all. Oh well..., what can you say except that life isn't fair which is what the blues is all about anyway. That doesn't mean you need to accept this collection as the blues gospel by any means! Where's the Junior Kimbrough and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown? Where's the Luther Allison and James Solberg? I can go on and ask why but what sense would that make? Anyone who wants to own one of the best unknown ripping guitar, whiskey soaked vocals, ultra cool organ & rhythm tight CD's ever, buy James Solbergs "See that my grave is kept clean". If you want something really special, buy anything by Junior Kimbrough. If you want something that we've all heard before with a lot of it being mediocre then buy Mr. Scorsese Presents the Blues. Otherwise, check out the web sites for Shanachie Entertainment, Alligator Records, Blind Pig, Rounder/Bulls Eye Blues, Blues Bureau International/Shrapnel for links into the real blues crossroads where past and future meet head on! Oh yeah, let's not forget about Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher either!! ... Read more


12. Lackawanna Blues
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007989PM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15259
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Mixing new versions of old songs with originals isn't a unique concept when it comes to constructing movie music, but it's seldom been done as effectively as on this soundtrack from the 2005 HBO film Lacakawanna Blues. Macy Gray, Robert Bradley, and perhaps most surprisingly, Mos Def--all of whom have parts in the film--contribute updated material which ranges from the jump blues of Mos Def's "Caledonia" to Bradley's sizzling low-down covers of Elmore James's "One Dime Blues" and Floyd Jones's grinding"Dark Road." Young old-school vocalist Ricky Fanté finds a sunny groove on Magic Sam's "That's All I Need," and the Blind Boys of Alabama, the go-to group for gospel, bring the church on a stunning "Faith and Grace."

The album's success lies in the way the predominantly obscure songs are sequenced. The spare but lovely Piedmont acoustic picking of Etta Baker's "One Dime Blues," Jimmy Scott's yearning, string-drenched ballad "If I Ever Lost You," and J.J. Jackson's Impressions' styled, finger-popping "But It's Alright" have little in common, yet comfortably share space with each other and the newly recorded tunes. This makes for a engaging collection of music that stands on its own as a compelling listening experience, even for those who haven't seen the movie that inspired it. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Album for R&B Fans and Newbies alike
This little soundtrack, compiled lovingly, also doubles as a fantastic sampler of R&B music.So many styles introduced here:from the Acoustic Piedmont, to the Chicago Electric Blues, to the big band sound of the Jump Blues, to a cappella Gospel and on and on.Listen to this CD a few times and you will have a PhD in Bluesicology.More importantly, these songs haven't already appeared on 100 other soundtracks or compilations, so it's perfect for old and new R&B fans alike.Some of the songs here are original recordings and some were made for the HBO movie (Mos Def is the surprise here;listening to him tear into the Jump Blues songs, you know he would have been a recording star in any age).

After this CD excites your ears, you are ready to check out a variety of other CDs (all available on Amazon):Big Joe Turner (THE VERY BEST OF BIG JOE TURNER which also contains his version of "Caldonia"), anything by Louis Jordan for the master of Jump Blues (especially his BEST OF CD), T-Bone Walker who Chuck Berry claims was a major influence on his guitar playing (Walker's COMPLETE IMPERIAL RECORDINGS 2-CD is currently a steal), Cephas & Wiggins (for the new masters of Piedmont style pickin') and, of course, Ray Charles' Atlantic recordings.

4-0 out of 5 stars IF YOU LOVE THE BLUES.......................
THIS ONE'S FOR YOU.....BLUESY BUT ENJOYABLE SOUNDTRACK TO THE MOVIE OF THE SAME NAME WHICH WAS EQUALLY ENJOYABLE....STANDOUTS INCLUDE "BUT IT'S ALRIGHT" BY J.J. JACKSON, "THAT'S ALL I NEED" BY RICKY FANTE AND THE INCREDIBLE "SOMETHIN INSIDE ME" BY ROBERT BRADLEY. "FAITH & GRACE" BY THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA IS MEMORABLE...POET/RAPPER/ACTOR/SINGER MOS DEF DELIVERS 2 SIZZLING TRACKS "CALDONIA" AND THE TANTILIZINGLY HOT! "DESTINATION LOVE"...GET THE BLUES...LACKAWANNA BLUES! ... Read more


13. Avalon Blues : Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings
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Asin: B000002AEN
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5232
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Mississippi John Hurt recorded 13 country-blues songs for the Okeh Electric Records company in 1928. Then he vanished. Actually, he never went anywhere. Indeed, he never strayed from his hometown of Avalon, Mississippi. He simply put the guitar down. It was the Great Depression, times were tough, money was scarce, and he needed to work. Nearly 30 years later, a blues enthusiast tracked him down, took him back to Washington, D.C., and suddenly Mississippi John's musical career resumed as quickly as it had finished. He recorded again, but these first songs from the late 1920s--with John's melancholy voice and hypnotic guitar playing at its most inspired--are his greatest musical accomplishments. --Percy Keegan ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A treasury of the music of the 20th century
Mississippi John Hurt (1893-1966) is a strange man in the blues history.In fact, he's not really a blues musician,but rather, like his elder, Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter,1889-1949), a songster.He was a small, gentle man, who recorded these 13 sides in the twenties, and waited until the early sixties to be rediscovered;during the last years of his life,he toured,playing at Newport and other festivals, and recorded several albums, mostly for Vanguard.I always found that Hurt's voice was one of the most fascinating I ever heard; a swinging,mild voice,that tells a lot about the graciousness of the man.His guitar picking,which looks like beeing simple,is in fact one of the most difficult and original I ever heard.I wish I had such a thumb to play the bass parts on my guitar ! John Hurt plays some tunes that were already old tunes in 1928 : the haunting "Louis Collins",the eternal "Stack o'Lee",the classic "Candy man"(you can listen to outstanding versions of this tune by Reverend Gary Davis),some sacred tunes,"blessed be the name","praying on the old camp ground",and some blues,"Avalon blues","big leg blues",or "spike driver blues".By the way, Hurt was rediscovered in the early sixties because he recorded that tune,"Avalon blues".Listening to it,some people went to this town,hoping that he still was living there.Mississippi John Hurt is a master in the music of the past century,reaching the same rank as Blind Willie Johnson,Charley Patton or Skip James.His 1928 sessions will allways remain some of the greatest masterpieces in the blues history.I personnaly enjoy his music for more than twenty years,and I hope you'll do the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everlasting Blues
This cd, which represents the complete 1928 recordings of Mississippi John Hurt is truly blues everlasting. It is amazing to realize when listening to this that it was recorded that long ago. The quality of the songs, John Hurt's voice and his guitar playing skill are all superb.

As other's have mentioned John Hurt was born in 1892, and developed notoriety for his skills as a musician. He was recorded in 1928 and then vanished into the farmlands of Mississippi. With the resurgence of folk and blues music in the early 1960's many so-called lost artists were "rediscovered." Mississippi John Hurt was among these musicians. Rediscovered by a young blues enthusiast Tom Hoskins, who took a clue from a line in one of Hurt's songs "Avalon's my home, always on my mind" to track him down. From that time until his death in 1966 Hurt became a fixture on the folk circuit.

It really is not surprising that he was so well received in the 60's when one looks at this cd which represents Mississippi John's early work. It includes many truly classic songs, Frankie, Stack O'Lee, Candy Man, Spike Driver Blues and Nobody's Dirty Business. Lines such as "he was a bad man, cruel Stack o' Lee." "He was her man and he done her wrong" "angels laid him away," "You're so heavy make a good man change his mind" and "take this hammer, carry it to the captain" demonstrate the richness of both the folk tradition and Hurts music. Artists such as Jerry Garcia, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal and Jesse Colin Young have felt compelled to perform his songs.

His voice is pure, sweet and pleasing. While it does not carry the angst of such early performers as Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, it's honesty is copied by others. His guitar playing is amazing and this alone could carry the cd. Artist who have been influenced by his style are Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Sonny Landreth.

For those who are interested in folk, blues, the history of modern music or any of the artists mentioned this is a worthwhile cd to have.

4-0 out of 5 stars Silky smooth vocals, gorgeous guitar, psychotic lyrics.
This truly is a treasure of early 20th century music. And the story of Mississippi John Hurt's "discovery" and renewed career at the end of his life in the 1960's is just wonderful. For his guitar playing skills the man is probably a virtuoso or a genius - or both. The syncopated fingerpicking is as delicate and intricate as a finely sewn needlework. And his voice is gentle and sweet. Musically it is easy to listen to and riveting at the same time. But - there is a catch here . . . in some of these songs, juxtaposed against the gentleness of the playing and singing, are lyrics that will make your jaw drop in shock at their sheer brutality. Some seem like they were written by a psychopath. He sings to a jaunty ragtime accompaniment in his sweet gentle voice: "one of these days I'm gonna wake up boozy, grab a gun and kill my Suzie". Regardless of where or when it was written - how on earth did this guy figure this was good subject matter for a song? And he isn't being metaphorical. Even weirder is that thrown into the mix are some "spiritual" songs. I mean - one minute the guy's gonna kill his baby (and thinks that no one else should be concerned about it) and the next - he's praisin' the lord. Lyrically, this is stuff Charles Manson would relate to. In any event, the music is superb and most of the songs have relatively "normal" lyrics. The fingerstyle guitar playing is amazing and it alone makes this an album worth getting. Just tune out the bizarre lyrics in some of the songs. Four and a half stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gently rockin' blues...
This cd has a variety it is no doubt blues, however Hurt is more versitile then just a blues singer, he is a masterful guitar player, who picks ragtime melodies, and sings folksy style, while gently rocking both vocally and instrumentaly.

Hurt was ahead of his time by 30 years, before the folk music scene was huge in the 60's, also he was looking back 20 years to the 1910's and ragtime. An interesting mix 1n 1928 lookin to the past and the future ta make some great original and truly unique and from the heart warming blues.

An essential cd is the bottom line

5-0 out of 5 stars Gentle and Timeless
Mississippi John Hurt possessed a gentle and timeless voice and guitar playing skill. His guitar work is considered to be some of the greatest, and most complicated, in all of American music, and his voice is immediately soothing to even the savage beast. Songs like "Frankie," "Ain't No Tellin'," and "Avalon Blues" will surely leave many students of guitar simply breathless. To those who do not play any musical instruments, his flowing guitar technique is still dazzling, and his voice is more "homey" and "likeable" than perhaps anyone else's, even the great Louis Armstrong's. As a darling of the Blues/Folk Revival of the 1960s, Hurt often played the Pre-War songs we hear on this disc, and almost just as well as he did back in the old days, one might add. This is a great disc for both the musician and the listener in us all. ... Read more


14. The Complete Studio Recordings
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Asin: B00004Z3VB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2490
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Gentle, graceful, subtle, sweet--these aren't descriptions generally applied to the blues, but they offer a sense of Mississippi John Hurt's uniqueness and enduring legacy. Rediscovered during the 1960s folk boom after last recording in the late 1920s, Hurt cut the three albums compiled here when he was in his early 70s. His conversational phrasing sounds as natural as breathing, while his ragtime-tinged fingerpicking on acoustic guitar reveals more complexity the closer you listen. Beyond blues classics like "Candy Man" (the sly sensualist wasn't referring to lollipops), Hurt's range encompasses everything from folkish narratives ("Talking Casey," "Spike Driver Blues") to Southern spirituals ("Nearer My God to Thee," "Farther Along"). Though Hurt died in 1966, shortly after the last of these sessions, the music still sounds so fresh, you can almost hear the twinkle in his eye. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Intimate, Powerful, and Melodic
This collection has all of the studio recordings done by John Hurt for Vanguard in the early '60's, after he was "rediscovered" by folk blues enthusiasts. Hurt's legendary finger-picking style, which inspired the likes of Doc Watson, simply blows me away. His voice is a little weaker on this album than on the 1928 Okeh recordings, but he still has a commanding presence. He lets his guitar do a lot of the talking for him. Hurt is, quite simply, a musical genius. Don't pass by the chance to hear him loud and clear!

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth as sweet wine.....
Mississippi John Hurt is one of the great blues man whose story seems to fit that romantic myth of what the blues and blues man are all about. He recorded music into the late 1920's (see 1928 Sessions released by Yazoo and Avalon Blues : Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings) and then disappeared back into the misty roads of Mississippi to be all but forgotten like so many others.

Then in 1963, Tom Hoskins and Mike Stewart, two young blue musicians from Washington, D.C. came across Hurt's 1928 Okeh recordings and decided to try to find some of the great old blues men, including Mississippi John Hurt. Using his song Avalon Blues as a starting point, they searched all the maps looking for Avalon, Mississippi. However, no town was found. Finally, an 1878 atlas listed Avalon as a rural road in Mississippi between the small towns of Greenwood and Grenada. Taking a chance, they went to Mississippi to find John Hurt. Stopping at a gas station near the area where Avalon was supposed to be, they asked the attendant if by chance he knew John Hurt. The attendant said sure, "about a mile down the road, third mailbox up the hill." Sure enough, they found him. John Hurt went with them back to Washington, D.C. and recorded and toured during the GREAT Blues revival of the 1960's until his death in 1966.

What a story!!! However, the music is the real treasure. Mississippi John Hurt possessed one of the truly great voices in Blues/Country music. Full of warmth, gentleness and power, he tells stories of times and events long since gone. Mixed with his crisp and attractive guitar work, Mississippi John Hurt is one of the GREAT storytellers of all time.

The packaging of three albums, Today!, The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt and Last Sessions, together for around $20 is an absolute steal. You will love these albums. Close the doors, turn out the lights and just listen and enjoy. Then check out the other recordings of this great artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth as Silk...but Twice as Durable
It's hard to imagine acoustic finger-picking blues being any smoother, yet heartfelt, than this. This fabulously mastered collection assembles the three studio albums MJH recorded in the 70's following his "rediscovery". The music, sound, and feeling is all there - and it's an absolute PLEASURE to listen to - pop and scratch free - as it was recorded with relatively modern equipment in the 70's.
MJH's intricate and beautifully styled finger-picking represents a degree of confidant mastery that perhaps could only be created by 40 years of playing in relative obscurity working to please only yourself...and his engaging vocals compliment seamlessly.
These three disks are like a favorite sweater on a cool night, comfortably warm, and the fit is just right.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding music and remixing
Not only is this the definitive box set of the definitive 20th century blues man, but it's exceeedingly well mastered. Every facet of the guitar sound comes through clear as crystal. This is a must have for any blues or rock aficionado.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best...buy this *and* the 1928 Okeh sessions
MJH was a wonderful singer and fluid fingerstyle guitarist. I can't think of another artist where the guitar and voice are so perfectly matched. It sounds so natural and organic, but of course it took MJH years of practice to perfect his style. During that time, he played mostly for his own enjoyment and that of his neighbors -- he knew he was good, but he had no idea that anyone was interested in his songs. The fact that his 1928 recordings didn't sell well probably confirmed in his mind that his music would be made just for his own enjoyment.

I have just about everything released by MJH. He is my favorite country blues artist. To my ears, these Vanguard studio recordings are his best-sounding, best-produced, and best-performed material. These are the recordings I go back time and time again. [...]

Also check out his 1928 Complete Okeh Recordings to find out the birth of the legend. Terrific performances -- MJH played a little faster in his younger days -- and great sound quality for the era. ... Read more


15. Martin Scorsese: Best of the Blues
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Asin: B0000AOV6M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2940
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blues Compilation!
This is a seriously excellent sampler of blues. It gives a great introduction to the genre for those that are either new to the blues or are interested to expand their knowledge of the classics. Of course, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix make their way onto this CD. BB King and John Lee Hooker are on it, as they should be. I was disappointed not to find a single song by Albert King - I think he made a serious contribution to the blues. Otherwise, it's an interesting and mostly quite a worthy selection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blues Rocks!
This album is a wonderful compilation of different artists singin' the blues. From John Lee Hooker to Etta James to Susan Tedeschi to Stevie Ray Vaughan, many different types of blues are included. How can you go wrong with this? I wanted to start a blues collection, and I'm so glad that I bought this one. Everyone should get this for a rounded collection of blues!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars disappointing
While this compilation starts off well, the last few tracks are misguided at best. Susan Tedeschi is blues for soccer moms(do soccer moms get the blues?) and while Los Lobos is one of my favorite bands ever, I wouldn't immediately associate them with this type of music. A track by Taj Mahal, Little Charlie and The Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Corey Harris, T-Bone Walker, Lightin' Hopkins, Mose Alison or the version of Fleetwood Mac that featured Peter Green (and the list goes on...) would have rounded the disc out in a more complete fashion.

The series of "essential" blues compilations The House of Blues label released a few years ago or the Blues Masters series on Rhino Records would be a better place for the novice to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blues has your number ~ Martin Scorsese"
Chuck full of the music you've been waiting for "Best of the Blues", featuring originals on originals. Spanning decades is just what the doctor ordered ~ best medicine from the likes of Ray Charles, Etta James, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Skip James, Howlin' Ron Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Son House, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Keb' Mo', Susan Tedeschi, Los Lobos, Cassandra Wilson, Bonnie Raitt and Shemekia Copeland. Featuring 21 essential recordings covering the last half-century of the blues, with a few pleasant surprises.

This CD is proof, once and for all ~ that the "BLUES" was then, is now and IS FOREVER ~ we've hit pay-dirt...and that folks, is the truth, plain and simple...gotta love it!!

Total Time: 65:22 on 21 Tracks ~ UTV Records ~ (8/26/2003)

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolutely great introduction to the Blues
This is a great collection of Blues music from the beginning until present day. For those who want to know more about the Blues but aren't willing to jump in and buy a bunch of CD's, this is a great way to start.

Listen to this CD, pick out the musicians you like the most, then do some research and find some of their classic albums.

For those willing to go a little further, check out the "Martin Scorsese: Best of the Blues" 5 disc box set or the individuals CD's for many of the Blues artists featured on this CD.

Highly Recommended! ... Read more


16. In Your Arms Again
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Asin: B0006ZXJHA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9245
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The veteran singer/guitarist returns to his roots with a stripped-down trio following the textural experiments of 2003's David Hidalgo-produced Ready for Love and his heralded 2001 collection of Tom Waits songs, Wicked Grin. Every choked note and moaning phrase of his voice rings with total commitment to numbers made famous by Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, andBob Dylan, including a version of Wolf's "Evil" that gets extra menace from Stephen Hodges's thunderous, impulsive drumming. That's how it should be. For the last 42 years, Hammond's made his career as an energetic interpreter of songs rather than as a writer. Nevertheless, the tunes he penned for this set--the title cut and "Come to Find Out"--fit comfortably among the classics. They explore love and lamentation in acoustic settings using Hammond's voice, guitar, and harmonica; MartyBallou's upright bass; and Hodges's rim-slapped snare to kick up Delta dust. Fans of Hammond's guitar, muted on his other recent releases, will dig his versatile six-stringing--especially his laid-back virtuosity on slide acoustic andresonator guitars. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars More Classic Blues Done Right....
Another fine record by John Hammond.. 12 songs.. 3 of them, well written songs by Hammond..With only a Bass and Drums playing with him the music is sparse and done with feeling. Maybe I take JH for granted but I have to admit after a few listens, it sounds like more of the same and lacking some spark. Unlike say Wicked Grin which was produced by Tom Waitts, I consider a Dessert Island Disc and would give 5 stars for creativity and a high energy performance.Also be warned it has copy protection on this CD, which is all fine and good but when it opens the Player you have to use to lisen to it on your PC, it Locks up your computer.I tried running this application by itself on my work PC(new) it takes up 100% CPU..so you can't open a copy program..fine, but you can't open anything else either..I will not be wasting my money on any lame protection scheme like this ever on any CD by anybody..Its useless if you can't play it, no matter how good it may be.I am a Computer Tech.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gritty Acoustic Blues
After a more than two dozen discs and a distinguished career as one of the foremost interpreters of classic acoustic blues, the turn of the century found John Hammond in danger of becoming a blues museum piece. His discs were all well done but it was difficult to distinguish any one from the others. That all changed in 2001 with the release of Tom Wait covers, Wicked Grin, which scored him significant cross-over success with its compelling interpretations of numbers that grew up outside the Mississippi delta. He followed that release in 2003 with Ready For Love which featured not only his first ever self-penned number but a new found energy that pushed the tracks beyond mere interpretation. This effort continues the hot streak. With covers by Percy Mayfield, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles and others as well as two brand new numbers this disc bristles with energy. Hammond's well honed acoustic guitar chops and well traveled voice propel number after number into a new listening experience. Even numbers like Charles' classic, I Got a Woman, which has received lots of play this year as a result of the terrific movie Ray and its accompanying soundtrack, seem to have a vibrant edge. While too many acoustic guitar blues discs sound much the same from beginning to end, Hammond is by turns a jug band style national steel master, a soul cat, a folk balladeer and a gruff, ready to rumble bluesman. A great way to start out your blues year. ... Read more


17. Complete Collection
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Asin: B00000JZXJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29501
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ever get the phonograph blues?
What can anyone say about Robert Johnson that hasn't already been stated? The music he left us just has that feel of someone who has traveled the humid shadows of the early twentieth century, checked into every dive hotel and motel across the Bible belt, stomped his feet in more than a few juke joints, courted the devil and let everyone know about it, smoked a few cigarettes, drank his share of bottled magic and sadness, tasted love and was bitten more than once. The more you listen, the more your imagination is sparked.

This particular collection showcases the 29 songs he recorded - minus the variations. If you are a casual listener, this is a marvelous retrospective of the music. If you are more of a completist, then the critically acclaimed box set is what you want. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the blues - in all its various styles. A few things I like are R.L. BURNSIDE - TOO BAD JIM, JIMI HENDRIX - BLUES and various things from MUDDY WATERS, SON HOUSE and HUDDIE LEDBETTER.

A quote from the CD liner notes by Tony Watts:
"If details of Robert Johnson's life are shadowy, there is nothing at all indistinct about his music which is full of the most elemental power imaginable. Obviously a driven man, he attempted to exorcise his demons through the medium of his songs..."

I sometimes wonder if it's because this guy left so few facts about his life behind, that his music becomes that much better? The popular story of his life's end is he was poisoned by a jealous husband he had cuckolded, and then buried in an unmarked grave after midnight. The king is gone but he's not forgotten: Does the mystery and drama of his short life actually float the music, add to its potency and make it transcendent above what it actually is? My recommendation is to take a listen for yourself. For whatever the reason, I can't stop listening to this collection of great songs. Personal favorites are - HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL, MALTED MILK, LITTLE QUEEN OF SPADES, IF I HAD POSESSION OVER JUDGEMENT DAY, FROM FOUR 'TIL LATE and STOP BREAKIN' DOWN BLUES.

Enjoy. ... Read more


18. Tap the Red Cane Whirlwind
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Asin: B0006ZFQLW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 41093
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Kelly Joe Phelps is the premier acoustic blues guitarist. For years his fans have been begging him to release a live CD. At last, Tap The Red Cane Whirlwindis the long-awaited opportunity to hear Kelly Joe recorded live in concert! Over an hour of pure unadulterated Kelly Joe Phelps at his finest – recorded in the intimate environments of two favorite venues – McCabe's in Santa Monica and The Freight And Salvage in Berkeley. The repertoire features Kelly Joe favorites, including "Jericho," "Tommy," "Not So Far To Go," plus astonishingversions of two classic cover songs – "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues" and "I Am The Light Of The World." ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just like being there
I bought this right after seeing Kelly Joe Phelps 'live' in Leeds (UK). He's definitely somebody you should see (he's amazing), and seeing him helps you picture where all this stuff comes from and how he gets into it.
This CD captures Kelly Joe's solid, yet intricate and crystalline guitar perfectly. Watching him play is mesmerising. I think this CD also shows him as an artist who is growing, and judging by some of the new songs he played in Leeds, the next studio album will be a treat.
But here, I particularly love 'Cardboard Box of Batteries', which is slow and perfect, every pluck of the guitar string perfectly woven into those smoke vocals. Such subtlety. Such restraint. Such complexity too: there's enough to keep you listening for years; each song is like a miniature blues symphony.
Just like in real life, KJP doesn't really say anything in between tracks, so don't expect any chat. It's just him and the music. Which is fine by me when the music's this good. Kelly Joe is the real thing. I highly recommend this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thing of Understated Beauty
Kelly Joe Phelps has always been quietly dazzling, rewarding repeated listenings rather than knocking you off your feet on the first try. His very first live recoding is no exception. It's a well crafted, beautifully rendered work of art. It's all here. The brush of his fingertips across the strings, the quiet humming he does as he plays his guitar and his well worn but comfortable vocals that tell tales of late nights, fading hope and optimism hanging on by a thread. This is a rare live recording that adds to Kelly Joe's musical legacy rather than merely fulfilling an obligation.

5-0 out of 5 stars 05 Gift From Mr. Phelps
Being familiar and enriched by the integrity and quality of Kelly Joe Phelps' prior recordings, the only reservation I had before I bought this CD was that it was live.
Understand me, I don't dislike live albums in principle. In the case of certain artists, live recordings have captured legendary performances and unusual moments of beauty.
Anyway, the point was whether an album of new versions of old songs and a couple of classic Blues, plus the potentially limited sound of a live performance, would add to Phelps' track record.
Great news. This album is as satisfying and likely to touch you as much as any one of Phelps prior incarnations, whichever one may be your favorite.
The album begins with a remarkable version of the classic "Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues," sung so close to the bone you may think he's channeling Skip James himself, and also serving a the first reminder of this man's skill and feel on the acoustic guitar.
Both his voice and his strings do the honors on several of self-penned tunes too. Three that must be mentioned, for their intimacy and new touch, are "Not So Far To Go" and "Waiting For Marty" -both ballads that were highlights from his last studio album Slingshot Professionals"- and the tender and thoughtful"Tommy." Plus the second cover, "I Am The Light O f The World," is equally astounding.
Finally, the quality of the recording is impeccable as live albums go. It seems that the people in the small audience present were as enthralled as I, when he played these songs. Other than applauses respectfully waiting for the end of each song, the silence is absolute. Almost reverential of the great music captured on Tap The Red Cane Whirlwind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Accoustic blues...
I first listened to this album at the reccord store under the jazz/blues category, expecting to hear electric lament guitar solos; typical blues you know?

Well I was pretty darn surprised when I discovered it was everything but "typical blues".

Mr Phelps came up with a live album using only accoustic guitar as an instrument.Is voice and music immediatly brought up an image inside my head : burning hot asphalt under a deadly summer afternoon sun....

I brought it back home and popped it into the CD player and started listening.The quality of production was so good that I felt as if I was sitting on Mr. Phelps front porch listening to his music while sipping a bourbon.Wish I actually had Bourdon at that time....

This album is very mellow and heart warming.This guy has a great voice.

I have a hard time imagining that anyone could actually totally dislike this album.That's how good it is.

4-0 out of 5 stars nice recording, but where's the slide?
I've listened to Kelly Joe Phelps since his first recording- actually own them all but for his ep- I was initially surprised when he avoided playing slide on "Sky Like a Broken Clock", then confused when he had Steve Dawson playing slide on "Slingshot Professionals"- I was hopeful when I heard he was doing a live solo recording, and when I first saw the cd cover on his site, with his guitar laying flat, I'm afraid I had assumed (my fault) that he had returned to his amazing original style of slide playing- Unless my ears deceive me, there's nary a slide heard on this- please correct me if I'm wrong- I've never had the pleasure to see Phelps play live, hope to at some point... ... Read more


19. Railroad Bill
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Asin: B00000J7JY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 166373
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful fingerstyle guitar
Etta Baker is such a lovely lady who is one of the leading practioners of the Piedmont blues guitar. This, one of the wonderful albums issued in conjunction with the Music Maker Foundation, showcases her fluid picking. The lack of vocals is the only complaint about this release. Otherwise this showcases of her fluid finer picking on a variety of tunes shows why Etta Baker is so highly regarded by fans of acoustic blues. ... Read more


20. Legacy
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Asin: B0002IQI5Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13587
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Guy Davis started his performing career as an actor--he was Dr. Josh Hall on One Life to Live in the 1980s and he played Robert Johnson in the off-Broadway play Trick the Devil--and his first recordings, while quite good, sometimes sounded as if he were just playing the role of a bluesman. On Legacy, Davis's seventh CD, his honey-and-gravel voice has mellowed, his intricate guitar picking has sharpened, and all traces of his earlier staginess have gone. When he plays Mississippi John Hurt's "Pay Day" or Lightnin' Hopkins's "Come Back Baby" he brings an authority to the music that only comes from deep understanding. And his own songs, such as the moody and moving "I Just Can't Help Loving You" or the jittery, banjo-driven"Red Goose," show that he has assimilated the old styles and has found a way to bring them into the modern world without sounding like a mere imitator. On Legacy, Guy Davis serves notice that he isn't merely acting as a bluesman, but that he is emerging as the genuine article. --Michael John Simmons ... Read more


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