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    1. The Word
    $14.99 list($19.98)
    2. Night Train to Nashville: Music
    $10.99 $8.61 list($11.98)
    3. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica
    $16.98 $12.44
    4. Afro-American Spirituals, Work
    $7.98 $5.79
    5. Blues 88's: Boogie Woogie Instrumentals
    $14.99 $13.77 list($16.98)
    6. Prison Songs (Historical Recordings
    $14.99 $3.75 list($16.98)
    7. Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the
    $14.99 $7.99 list($17.98)
    8. Blues
    $14.99 $12.61 list($18.98)
    9. Violin, Sing The Blues For Me:
    $14.99 $9.99 list($16.98)
    10. Alligator Records 20th Anniversary
    $11.98 $8.36
    11. Blues Masters, Vol. 16: More Harmonica
    $4.98 $3.84
    12. Not The Same Old Blues Crap II
    $24.98 $18.11
    13. Chicago/Blues/Today!
    $11.98 $9.01
    14. The Slide Guitar: Bottles, Knives,
    $11.98 $9.06
    15. Raunchy Business: Hot Nuts &
    $59.98 $44.62
    16. Chess Blues
    $9.98 $6.49
    17. Big Blues Extravaganza : The Best
    $14.99 $8.68 list($15.98)
    18. Mali To Memphis: An African-American
    $11.98 $8.36
    19. Portugal: The Story of Fado
    $13.98 $9.32
    20. Dirty Blues

    1. The Word
    list price: $18.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005M98F
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 30000
    Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

    Sweet surrender's always been the subtext of gospel music, but thevelvet punch of this superstar jam band will knock out secular audiences aswell. The Word features John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood andyoungblood trio the North Mississippi Allstars,but its star is Robert Randolph, a 23-year-old from New Jersey who is the newgod of pedal-steel guitar. Randolph earned his chops in the Pentecostal church,performing the so-called "Sacred Steel" music well documented by the Arhoolielabel (see Sacred Steel, Vol. 2 for asample). He plays like an amalgamation of Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck,John Coltrane, Buddy Emmons, Bo Diddley, and Mahalia Jackson. In short, he'sbrilliant, so full of rock & roll energy, improvisational fire, and sonicacrobatics that the other great musicians on this disc mostly stay out of hisway. Randolph has a seemingly divine gift for on-the-fly harmony as he splitsthe difference between Sunday tent meetings and Saturday juke crawls on "KeepYour Lamp Trimmed & Burning." In the Allman Brothers-style jams,Randolph plays both Dickey Betts and Duane to Medeski's organ, handling sweet,clean scales and rich, mellow slide slurs. But his vocabulary extends wellbeyond American-roots music. "Blood on That Rock" ends in a free-improvmeltdown, and elsewhere his snaky lines sound like Middle Eastern holy singing.All of which makes The Word worth heeding. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Jamfan MUST HAVE
    During a summer when there is no mega tour; when everything seems like a brady bunch rerun you've seen 304 times: Out comes THE WORD. Fresh, innovative and uplifting; FUNKY, soulful and creative... it's all in The Word. Joyful Sounds and Waiting On My Wings have irresistable riffs that tattoo on the brain for days. Blood on That Rock and I'll Fly away are spacey, layered and complex while changing tempo and pitch lay in the hands (and foot) of the Pedal Steel guitar master, Robert Randolph: who hadn't played outside of his church band more than a handful of times before this project. If you have any inclination toward: Phish, String Cheese, Deep Bananna Blackout, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Allman Brothers, BB King, Hendrix, Clapton or straight up GOSPEL BLUES ROCK- You must have THE WORD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "The Word" is Great!!
    The first time I'd heard of this band was a few weeks ago. A friend who had seen them at The Birchmere in Virginia and another friend who is a rabid Robert Randolph fan, tipped me off. Their advice and having just recently seen the North Mississippi Allstars live for the first time, had me eagerly anticipating the release of the this CD. That anticipation of this all instrumental recording was well rewarded! The Allstars provide a rock-solid foundation for the fabulous pedal steel guitar work of Robert Randolph and the keyboards of John Medeski. Though I'm not a fan of Medeski, Martin and Wood, Medeski's playing in this context is outstanding. The group calls this a "gospel record" and indeed it is based on the bluesy, gospel style of music played in House of God churches. Robert Randolph learned his chops playing in the church, where the steel guitar is a featured instrument. There are several songs where Randolph and Luther Dickinson, of the Allstars, trade guitar licks that are reminiscent of the Allman Brothers in their heyday. Other songs have a Hawaiian slack-key guitar sound. This is a great CD and one that I highly recommend purchasing. I hear these guys are fantastic live, so if you have a chance to see them, do NOT pass it up!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Skip this album
    I am amazed by the number of great reviews The Word received from enthusiastic listeners. Personally, I thought that this album was a sorry attempt at gospel jam. Bottom line: good musicians playing together don't necessarily make a good album.
    The songs barely hold together while they are in full force, and seem to carry on through pure momentum. And they don't quite "end" - they just sort of screech to a halt. This kind of playing is expected from barroom bands and pickup jams - not the best players today's jam scene has to offer.
    John Medeski's playing will disappoint any fan of the groove trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood. When he is audible at all, his playing is tasteless and uninteresting. The great Robert Randolph is at his worst, unfortunately, on pedal steel. His playing is painfully out of tune for much of the album, and serves as a clear example of why this album [is not my favorite]. It appears that The Word was little more than a pickup jam session at a studio, that judging by the recording quality, was miked with one microphone dangling in the middle of the room. This is easily the worst-recorded album I have heard in five years.
    While there are some decent points on The Word, among them track 7 (I'll fly away), and track 3 (blood on that rock), most of the album sounds completely unrehearsed. Granted, sometimes this works - a famous example being Kind of Blue, which consisted entirely of first takes. But here it most certainly doesn't. The band sounds lost from start to finish, from the drummer's bizarre, misplaced time changes to Medeski's frightened keyboard work. I write this review because, as a fan of all musicians involved, I was extremely disappointed with The Word.

    Finally, all my complaints against The Word could be put aside as poor recording, planning, and rehearsal, if there was something redeemable behind it all. There isn't. Randolph's playing is out of tune and annoying, from the piercing repeated notes for four or five measures, to the cheesy blues riffs he passes off as soul- they sound like they are out of the Mel Bay Guitar Manual. I love Medeski and Robert Randolph, and I am an avid blues, soul, gospel, and jam listener. But this album comes up short in every respect.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best commercial releases of 2001
    The Word, comprised of John Modeski (Modeski, Martin & Wood), Robert Randolph and the North Mississippi All-Stars, has supplied us with an amazing combination of rock, funk, jazz and even gospel. Learning to play the Sacred Steel (his steel-pedal guitar) in church, Robert Randolph will be a household name through his driving sound. It is music that attracts music lovers of all generations and tastes. One of the best I own, and certainly the best new cd of the past couple of years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eat a Peach 2002
    Its different,but it really reminds me of Eat a Peach. A highly competant sacred Steel player who reveres SRV playing with group of musicians in the same midset. This is a jamming album that really cooks. A very pleasant surprise. ... Read more

    2. Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970)
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001DMWFW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1241
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    The most startling revelation contained on this two-CD compilation is how rich, varied, and deep Nashville's R&B scene was during a 25-year period in which the city solidified its reputation as the undisputed capital of country music. Arranged chronologically, Night Train to Nashville also traces the steady progression of African-American music beginning with the end of WWII--from jump blues, lusty R&B, and smooth-groove vocal groups to proto rock & roll, Southern soul, and Top 40 pop that drew blacks and whites together even as the Vietnam War nearly ripped the country apart. Although this collection contains well-known hits (Bobby Hebb's "Sunny", Robert Knight's "Everlasting Love") and widely acknowledged stars (Etta James and Ruth Brown, both of whom recorded some of their best work in Nashville), many of its most satisfying pleasures come courtesy of lesser-known artists, such as R&B belter Christine Kittrell, swamp bluesman Shy Guy Douglas, and balladeer Sam Baker. In the midst of many ear-opening discoveries, add one more: When listening to the countrified soul of Arthur Alexander, Joe Simon, and Johnny Adams, it's apparent that Nashville in its '60s heyday wasn't two separate but equal towns but one glorious Southern-music Mecca. --Keith Moerer ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This CD is SWEET!
    This music just makes you feel good. The artists can really sing and play. There is no one that I play this for who doesn't think it is great even if this is not their kind of music.
    Other great CDS I've Tried:
    Count Basie and his orchestra
    James Brown- anything
    Miles Davis- kinda Blue
    John COltrane- A love Supreme
    Ray Charles- his older stuff
    Also for fun,
    "Voice Lessons To Go" by Vaccarino so I can get my voice strong enough to sing along!

    This CD JAmms!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A musical treasure!
    I love old time blumes and early rock and roll, so when I read about this CD I had to have it. Simply put, this is a treasure! What I enjoyed about this the most is that it features lesser known artists and songs that are just killer. A superb collection for any fan of the roots of rock and roll who is looking for something new, out of something old.

    I also want to recommend a killer instrumental CD by Mr.Deviant called "Techno Obsession", it's a mix of power rock and hard dance music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazonic Regression . . .
    I read all the other reviews and realized that this album is many things to many people. I was impressed by how many people took the effort to review this great collector's item. For myself, it was a bolt out of the blue thanks to being featured on the SUNDAY MORNING TV show. When I was 14 years old (1954) I built a HEATHKIT short-wave radio. I strung 100' of copper wire from our TV antenna tower to the top of the basketball pole. All I had hoped for was to get the BBC or Radio Free Europe. What I got [instead] was Radio Free Nashville ! WLAC, Bill Allen and music I had only heard rumors of. "That kind of music" was not played on mainstream radio in those days. Word got around school that I was listening to Little Richard, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, and Jimmy Reed. I didn't get any more chicks because of it, but it put me in a very elite group of R&B listeners. Once again, AMAZON DOT COM makes regression to our childhoods possible! Thanks, you guys . . . Harrison T.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag, but overall pretty good
    As to be expected, there is some really good stuff on these discs. Unfortunately, some mediocre tunes that are not that impressive crop up here and there.

    While I love sixties soul on a personal note, disc one is overall the better side. The early barrellhouse boogie-woogie tunes are quite appealing and hard to sit still to. (The Louis Jordanesqe "Buzzard Pie," obviously inspired by the King Cole Trio's "Straighten Up and Fly Right" is lots of fun). The Prisonaires track is quite beautiful and Little Richard's mentor Esquirita really rocks the house, as well as the tunes by Larry Birdsong and Jimmy Peck's Orchestra.

    On disc 2, Etta James rocks out with her version of "What I Say" and "Shy Guy" Douglas does some fine harmonica work. The Vocal Groups like the Avons, Valentines, Hytones, and Frank Howard are okay (as well as Arthur Alexander's original "Anna Go To Him" remembered well by Beatles fans and the lovely original version of "Everlasting Love"). But the rest of this stuff is nothing special.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What Nashville Was...and Could Be.
    I'm in Nashville and work in the music industry. This CD is a great example of the talent Nashville has and what we could be doing with all of that talent. Glad to see Lost HIghway released all this great stuff and hope they'll release more.

    How did Nashville get so white bread? Hate it that more people don't know about this disc and are favoring the computer corrected music of Toby Keith and Shania.

    If you like Stax and Motown, you'll love this. ... Read more

    3. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica Classics
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000032X5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9617
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good sampler
    The trouble with the Blues Masters collection is that CDs like this one, which is compiled to showcase some great blues harmonica playing, is that it never tells the full story.
    Howlin' Wolf is here, Sonny Boy Williamson (II) is here, Little Walter Jacobs is here, Jimmy Reed is here, but these songs generally doesn't rank among their best, since they were chosen primarily for the harp playing.

    But if you already have the essentials by these artists, "Harmonica Classics" and its companion volume (excitingly titled "More Harmonica Classics") is a really good purchase, featuring several excellent lesser-known songs like Jerry McCain's "Steady", Big Walter Horton's "Easy", and Lazy Lester's superbly groovy "Sugar Coated Love". Just don't think that you can go out and buy the "Blues Masters" series and be done with. ... Read more

    4. Afro-American Spirituals, Work Songs, And Ballads
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $16.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000DC6N
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 53723
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Living music
    In the 1930's, father and son John and Alan Lomax travelled through the South, collecting field recordings for the Library of Congress, in order to form a permanent record of the country's musical heritage. In 1942, six volumes of these and other recordings were released on thirty 78's. This collection is a remastering of the third volume of this series.

    The music is deep and vital; the sound quality - though as to be expected of "field recordings" cannot detract from the power of these spirituals, chants, laments, and worksongs, recorded by ordinary people - laborers, clergy, prisoners - in their ordinary settings.

    The record is essential listening for anyone interested in the history of Jazz, Blues, and Folk in America. ... Read more

    5. Blues 88's: Boogie Woogie Instrumentals
    list price: $7.98
    our price: $7.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000663W
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 65035
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Big Fun
    The CD is 10 tracks culled from various Rounder Records artists CDs. I bought this to make my $25 minimum shipping but didn't expect much from a cheapie. When I put on the first track, I hooted out loud at how delightful the opening riffs were. The rest of the tracks were just as good. Consider getting this along with Gallerie "Portrait of Boogie Woogie Piano" for a complete and very fun collection of the form for just over the minimum shipping.

    4-0 out of 5 stars excellent modern boogie woogie selection
    If you're looking for a more recent selection of boogie woogie selections, this is your disc. All the tracks are upbeat and jumping. It just makes you want to get up and move. ... Read more

    6. Prison Songs (Historical Recordings From Parchman Farm 1947-48), Vol. 1: Murderous Home
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000002UV
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 28198
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Real Gangstas, Role Models, and Elvis Presley
    This disc (as well as its companion, "Vol. 2: Dont'cha Hear Poor Mother Calling?") is perhaps some of the most beautiful and honest recordings of human expression you'll ever hear. Modern music has nothing on this stuff; it's the real deal. This is music that was created to get you through the day; not to sell records or to score chicks. This is as anti-commercial, and therefore, as antiestablishment as you can get. Truly alternative. And it is, in a word, spellbinding.
    The greatest beauty of, not only the songs, but culture that spawned them and the men who sang them as well, is the burning human spirit that inhabits each and every track on this record. Nowhere is there a mention of giving up or losing hope. These songs are optimistic in the the purest sense and prideful in the best way. One can't help but wonder how - in a place where you could get six months on the chain gang for standing on a street corner, or five years for stealing a loaf of bread - these men managed to remain so hopeful? How could they stay so proud and sing so true, with so much life, while they were being worked to death every day, from dawn until dusk, under the blazing, hot sun with nothing but a little bread and water to keep them going? These men must have had an amazing inner strength and a strong system of values to get through it. Or, if not that, at they very least, they had to have possessed an unimaginable amount of pride and dignity in themselves to not to be broken down by their captors and the brutal Jim Crow penal system under which they were railroaded.
    Thinking of that and listening to this disc, I was reminded of something I heard Wynton Marsalis say in an interview with David Frost. When asked what he thought of Rap music, Wynton said that, "Rap, because of it's sense of nihilism, represents the ultimate triumph of the white man over the black man..." Nowhere, he claimed, in the history of African-American creative expression do you find that sense of nihilism that you do in Rock & Roll. That was something that found its way into black culture after Elvis took off. So if Rock music was, and still is, a white manifestation of the Blues and R&B with a Dionysian sense of self-destruction, then the rebellious posturing and devil-may-care swagger of today's gun-toting "Gangsta" archetype is something that was adopted from white culture. Does this sound far fetched? Not if one looks at white popular culture from the fifties. Take, for example, "Rebel Without a Cause" or "The Wild One" where disenfranchised white kids, juiced up on hormones, drag race down the road, not at all concerned that somebody might crash or fly off a cliff. Where do these ideas play out in pre-fifties African-American culture? They don't. Because they don't exist. Could you ever imagine Duke Ellington, in his top hat and tails, kicking over his piano bench the way Jerry Lee Lewis did on the Steve Allen Show? Never in a million years. This sense of nihilism was introduced into the mix by white guys like James Dean, Marlon Brando, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran; it was later elevated to a fine art by the likes of Keith Richards, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison before it was co-opted by latter day Rap performers.
    To be sure, there is no sense of nihilism on this disc. And for that reason, the singers on "Murderous Home" (and "Dont'cha Hear Poor Mother Calling?") should be held up as role models to countless disenfranchised young people out there who have no faith in the system. The men here didn't let the system get the better of them; they didn't let the institution turn them sour; they didn't let the institution turn them on themselves. The guys on this disc are the original "Gangstas." True rebels, defiant in a time long before being an outsider was bottled up, made cool, and sold to us in the form of Rock & Roll...long before the advertisers taught us how to be self-destructive...and long before rap videos made that sense of self-destruction sexy to suburban kids.
    It's interesting to note that in spite of all the positive spirit in these songs, when Alan Lomax returned to Parchman just a few years later, the younger convicts refused to sing them. They saw the songs as old-fashioned and thought singing them would be "Uncle Tomming." Ironically, of course, this was in the fifties...after Rock & Roll.
    How sad then, that these songs were forgotten by African-Americans. Because what got left behind was a guiding voice. A voice that was so poetic, beautiful and honest in its heroic strength and language and so steadfast in its conviction and principle and so completely true to itself that no rapper out there today comes anywhere close to equaling its defiance. But, perhaps the worst thing of all...the saddest of thing that a genuine dignity was lost. A dignity that could have been a navigational beacon...a roadmap to the high road...forsaken and cast aside...and, ultimately, all because a good-looking white boy from Memphis shook his hips on a thing called television.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DEEP
    I really had no idea what i was in store for. But for those who love black, southern and prison history, spirituals, and are thirsting for music in its purest form, buy this CD!!! It has wonderful chants, commentary from Lomax, narrative from the inmatesand even clanking from the axes. You can hear the suffering and longing in their voices. You can hear the humor in may of the lyrics. Be sure to read the booklet so that you can get a clearer understanding of it all. It is a wonderful piece of recorded history. you may also want to buy the book Worse than Slavery, by Oshinsky so that you can get greater sense of exactly waht they are thinking about. One more thing..You will totally feel the energy of 22.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful music
    I was blown away when I listened to this CD for the first time. The recording is great. I didn't expect too much due to the time frame of the recording, but the quality is impressive. I bought this hoping to find more tracks like "Po' Lazarus" from the "O' Brother Where Art Thou" Soundtrack. What I got was much more.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great documents of American music.
    Words fail to describe this incredibly powerful album. I've had a copy since the 60's, and still have an unopened LP copy in my "vault" (along with the first Roberty Johnson LP). Luckily, I don't have to describe the power of the music - you can click on the samples, and hear for yourself.

    Reams of praise have been heaped on this album, and every word has been an understatement.

    If you have any interest whatever in American folk music or in blues or jazz, you either have a copy of this or should get one. This is the absolute peak of Lomax's years of collecting.

    Incredibly clean sound for the 40's, all well recorded, musically superb pieces, each a perfect gem of its kind, preserving some of the oldest and best of American music, done by some of the finest singers you've never heard of.

    You will listen to this again and again. ... Read more

    7. Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005J9TC
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 24803
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    No musician ever applied a gentler touch to songs of murder, sex, andsalvation than MississippiJohn Hurt. The country bluesman enjoyed a career revival through the folkfestival boom of the early 1960s, and his influence continues to ripple, as thisvaried and vital tribute attests. Produced byPeter Case (who teamswith Dave Alvin on"Monday Morning Blues"), the album's renewal of classic Hurt extends from thedeadpan double entendres of "Candy Man" delivered bySteve Earle and sonJustin to Taj Mahal'strademark lilt on "My Creole Belle" to a surprisingly straightforward "Stagolee"by Beck. Amid a roster ofluminaries ranging from fingerpicking acolytesChris Smither andBill Morrissey toBen Harper,John Hiatt,Lucinda Williams, andGillian Welch, the mostradically disarming interpretation comes fromVictoria Williams. Herbreathless "Since I've Laid My Burden Down" sounds like a preschooler on helium,yet somehow taps into the subconscious of the song. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible bargain for under $3
    As I write this, new copies of this wonderful album are available for less than $3 (through recommended Amazon sellers - check the 'new and used' link). That, my friends, is an exceptional bargain! I paid about $20 (including postage and handling) for this album around 18 months ago and considered it great value for money at the time, since every track (even the much maligned Victoria Williams cover of 'Since I Laid My Burden Down') is at least listenable, if not a veritable aural treat.

    If you're a fan of the late Mississippi John Hurt (like myself), you'll find the contributions by Ben Harper and John Hiatt to be most reminiscent of his original recordings. Although these two modern artists come closest in replicating Hurt's distinctive finger-picking style, neither can match the deceptively subtle ease of his guitar playing. This is not to suggest that their versions are any less enjoyable, only that no one on this album can quite match the brilliance of Hurt.

    From my perspective, only one track on this album - Gillian Welch's version of 'Beulah Land' - actually surpasses the original. Although the guitar playing is much more subdued on this track, the haunting echoes of Welch's vocals will send shivers down your spine. This track alone makes this $3 album a bargain, but it offers so much more than that. Even if you can't stand the Victoria William's track (it's not that bad, people), this great album is packed with 14 other songs which are hard to skip past. How many other albums for under $3 can you say that about?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth the effort
    This tribute to Mississippi John Hurt is one that I keep gravitating back to and giving "nuther listen to". The artists (save perhaps one) are impressive in their interpretation of John's wonderful witty and humorous music. Those last two qualities seem to be the only thing that they just couldn't copy that Mr Hurt seasoned his works with so naturally. My ear always "trips over" Victoria Williams "Since I've Laid My Burden Down". Her performance is done in a style that is more suited to the Bulgarian Womens Choir. I loved the Taj Mahal performance of "My Creole Belle" and Geoff Muldaurs "Chicken".

    2-0 out of 5 stars tepid tap water
    A lot of tribute albums trade on the popularity and fame of the "tributee" and fall into the mixed-bag when it comes to quality. This is truly no exception. There are some decent covers that are pleasant enough to listen to in the same way that luke-warm tap water might quench your thirst, but come're interested in John Hurt, listen to his albums. The best song on here doesn't even touch his level of spontaneous genius. I mean its not even in the same room. Hurt himself has an otherworldly, almost angelic quality. Hurt didn't know theory. Hurt picked out a $200 guitar when they told him he could have any one in the place. These are just a bunch of halfway decent, semi-gifted, "folkies" who have wood shedded long enough that their chops aren't half bad. If this was all you heard, you'd dismiss the man himself in a heartbeat like "so what, these are simple, almost childish folk big deal". Get his Last Sessions album first, and then this if you still want to. Life is too short to listen to mediocre music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than the original
    ...I hadn't heard of John Hurt before. This CD is now one of my absolute favorites. "Chicken" and "Since I've laid my burdon down" will stay with you for days and you'll be replaying the CD several times so that you can get the lyrics right when you're singing them in your head later. "Sliding Delta" is another laid back personal favorite.
    Every song on this album is good. Since all of the performers have trained voices, the singing shows off Hurt's songs like he could not. (Nobody trys to beat his up-and-down melodic guitar however. For this you've got to buy the original.) I also liked the variety that different performers bring to the CD as a whole. Hurt's songs could sound a little too similar with his raspy half-whisper voice after a while.
    Mississippi John Hurt is an original, but I truly like this CD better than his Avalon Blues originals or his Complete Studio Recodings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a worthy tribute
    Hurt was a unique bluesman - funny, laid-back, and unassuming. There would be no value in merely imitating him. But at a time when many tribute albums are filled with third-rate performers parasitizing first-rate songwriters, it is a delight to find a tribute that justifies the word. Each artist tranforms a MJH song to fit his/her own style, and the results are memorable, and often outstanding. I especially liked Gillian Welch's spooky version of Beulah Land, but the entire CD is good (how often can you say that). If you like any of these artists, you will probably love this album. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    8. Blues
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004YLI6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 16147
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Millennium Blues Party brings the party to life
    Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new blues lover, this CD brings your listening pleasure to new peaks. This collection of nearly 80 minutes of blues tunes effectively brings together some of today's stars (Clapton, Cray) with past blues legends (Waters, Hooker).

    If you're looking for some mood background music or some tunes to be a hit of the need not look any further because Millennium Blues Party is your answer. Fact is...I'm not sure you can find a better mix of blues artists elsewhere!

    5-0 out of 5 stars MILLENNIUM BLUES

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Of The Rhino Millennium Series
    This series of CDs is not as bad as it sounds. This particular CD makes a fine introduction to the blues and is probably the finest of the group. It contains cuts from the best blues artists such as Muddy Waters, BB, and Albert King and also mixes in more recent artists such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Stevie Ray, and George Thorogood. As they said in the Blues Brothers, I suggest that you buy as many blues records as you can. This CD will certainly whet your appetite for more blues. ... Read more

    9. Violin, Sing The Blues For Me: African-American Fiddlers 1926-1949
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B00000JC8X
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 22147
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Nearly essential for anyone interested in old-time music,Violin, Sing the Blues for Me may be quite simply the bestsingle-disc anthology of the early 20th century black string-bandmovement available today. The emphasis here is on the bluesy fiddleplaying heard between 1926 and 1949, but the music boasts reams ofdiverse styles and playing that is simply impossible to pigeonhole.Andrew Baxter milks his fiddle for all its plaintive worth againstbrother Jim's guitar on "K.C. Railroad Blues," the Mississippi MudSteppers' "Alma Waltz" is as sublime as they come (perhaps the greatestside ever recorded to feature a banjo-mandolin), and there are plentyof other tracks featuring the now-forgotten wail of the blues violin.But the lively tunes steal the show here: the Mobile Strugglers'spreviously unissued "Memphis Blues" from 1949 is a classic breakdown;the Tennessee Chocolate Drops's "Vine Street Drag" (featuring the fastfiddling of Howard"Louie Bluie" Armstrong) showcases some true violin virtuosity; andthe Memphis Jug Band's "Memphis Shakedown" is a tour de force of energyand great playing. Truth is, there's not a weak track here, and thecopious liner notes will keep you busy long after the CD has playedout. If you want to hear the roots of the blues, don't pass this discup. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning recordings, rare music
    It's pretty amazing, this late in the folkloric/historic reissues game, to find a whole album's worth of "undiscovered" old-timey music that is of such a high caliber. Old Hat Records, a tiny North Carolina indie label, packs its discs with some of the best music in the style that you're ever likely to hear. (You might also want to check out the "Lost Provinces" and "Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow" CDs...) This disc highlights a rare style of African-American fiddle music, featuring rare recordings by the bands that dotted the southern landscape 'way back when. These groups mixed stringband styles and jazzy jug-band blues and, not incidentally, made some of the catchiest music ever. In addition to great sound quality and great material, the CD is handsomely packaged; the insert booklets include some really cool archival photos, as well as extensive liner notes of the sort that have been woefully absent on similar recent reissue efforts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best reissue CDs ever
    Quite simply one of the finest single CDs ever released by anyone, in any genre of music. For high quality transfers from 78s, documentation, liner notes, historic accuracy, photos and illustrations, and sheer musicality, "Violin" has few rivals. Don't pass this up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An album to live with
    This has rapidly become one of my favorite discs. Excellent selection of tracks, excellent transfers, excellent booklet. My only complaint would be that the text in the booklet is not in the same order as the tracks on the disk.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great music - great supporting documentation
    As early as colonial times, free and enslaved blacks were widely known for their virtuosity on the fiddle, so it was only natural that the instrument would eventually find a home in the blues...even though most people probably don't tend to think of it there. And that's the beauty of this CD. It contains samples of the blues and many of the traditions that preceded it: country dances, rags and stomps, folks songs and medicine show music, all lovingly remastered from early recordings to create 73 minutes of vintage fiddle music. The 32-page full-color booklet alone is worth the price. This is a must-have for any student of African American culture in general, or anyone who just enjoys good music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply magnificent
    I don't believe this release can be improved. The song selection is terrific from both a musical and historical perspective. Sound mastering is excellant. The notes, artwork and photographs were not an after thought. They are very well done. OLD HAT has now released two top notch volumes and I really hope there is a lot more in the pipe. This is a mandatory disc for all blues and old timey fans. About the only negative is the sad fact that it probably won't get out to a wider audience. A reissue done by people who love and respect this music. Just superb. ... Read more

    10. Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Collection
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B0000009WW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 13144
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars They're all here
    The reviewer who said that SRV was not on this set obviously did not read the liner notes, which indicate that SRV played on the Lonnie Mack tracks from the Strikes Like Lightening sessions. The other artists the reviewer stated that were not there ARE, but are not the featured artist on the tracks.

    I bought this set, and the 25th, when they came out and was really wowed by what I heard. Houndog Taylor is my favorite, followed closely by Koko Taylor and Albert "Master of the Telecaster" Collins. There is some really fine musicianship, great feel, and real respect for the blues displayed on this set.
    Higly recommended.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some good old blues
    Amazon keeps inter-mixing the reviews for the 'Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Collection' album and the similarly named 'Alligator Records 20th Anniversary tour' album. So I will include a review of both here to set the record straight.

    The 'Collection' album is by far superior to the 'tour' album. The collection has many artists on show and offers a bit of everything. The best tracks are AC Reed's 'These blues are killing me' with SRV brilliant on guitar, Little Charlie and the Nightcats with 'Rain', Roy Buchanan's classic 'Drowning on dry land', Koko Taylor with 'That's why i'm crying', Katie Webster with 'Pussycat Moan', Son Seal with 'Going back home' and Hound Dog Taylor and the classic 'Give me back my wig'. The album is uneven as you would expect for a label show case but well worth it as a introduction to a variety of blues styles and artists.

    The 1993 20th aniversary tour album has only Li' Ed, (the late) Kattie Wester, Elvin Bishop, Lonnie Brooks and Koko Taylor. The album does typify Alligator records music that by my definition is mostly reasonable blues without being great. This live album has plenty of energy and is listenable, but fails to scale the heights I expect of the blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I discovered most of my favorite blues artists from this CD
    Alligator records has some serious talent on it's label. Many of them are big names that you will recognize if you have been into blues for very long. I have tried samplers from other blues record labels and have been very disappointed with the mediocre talent on their label. Usually there are only one or two people -out of fourteen or fifteen - that stand out on other blues samplers. You will recognize that the vast majority of artists on Alligator Records are true talents - even if you don't like their style. This album is definitely worth the investment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good,better,best
    Alligator has compiled a very good collection of its artists on this CD. It has Iceman , SRV , KOKo , Son Seals, Johnny Winter and many other of the best of the blues. If you buy it, find some storage for the rest of your collection, because you won't remember who they are. ... Read more

    11. Blues Masters, Vol. 16: More Harmonica Classics
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000007RQB
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 45460
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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    The harmonica's not exactly an imposing instrument; who would guess that a pocket- sized hunk of metal could be capable of so much expression? Volume 16 of Rhino's BluesMasters series shows just how much; the harp can trade leads with the vocals (Jimmy CottonBlues Quartet, "Cotton Crop Blues," Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band, "HelpMe"), lay down a raw edge (Papa Lightfoot, "Jump the Boogie"), or playsmooth as you please (William Clarke, "Pawnshop Bound"). As even a cursoryexamination of the above performers will indicate, the harmonica is well represented in all stylesof blues; Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, J. Geils, and Howlin' Wolf appear here as well.As capable as a horn or guitar of carrying the lead, and infinitely more portable, the harmonicamay well be one of the most expressive and versatile instruments out there, and MoreHarmonica Classics offers several excellent examples. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    1-0 out of 5 stars thrash punk at its worst
    I thought sublime was good, but this cd proved me wrong. Instead if hard core reggae rock, i was disapointed to hear stupid, painful, harmonicas. I mean it REALLY SUCKED. I mean by the time it was over, i had put at least 5 pairs of ear plugs on.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for hamonicists and harmonophiles
    This power-packed CD is a must for both players and lovers of the harmonica, particularly of the blues-harp variety.

    Most all of the tunes here are listenable, but some mighty powerful stuff abounds. On Howlin' Wolf's number, he sounds as if he's playing 2 harps at once. Junior Wells, in his rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson II's "Help Me," does a moving tribute to Sonny II both vocally and harmonically (as Sonny II died shortly before this was recorded). Sonny I is well represented here with "Shake Your Boogie" (although his harmonica is drowned out by the other instruments in parts of this song).

    The king of Country blues harmonica, Sonny Terry, does an amazing turn with "Hootin' Blues Pt. 2" which defies written description. Wisely, Magic Dick Seltzer's classing "Whammer Jammer" is also included, as it sounds as if this tune may have been inspired by the above-mentioned Sonny Terry tune (listen and compare).

    So for anyone who likes good harmonica music, listen and enjoy. For aspiring harmonicists, you may have think you've got it down pat, but listen to this to see how far you still need to go. ... Read more

    12. Not The Same Old Blues Crap II
    list price: $4.98
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    Asin: B00005KJ0I
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 16960
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars good stuff, lousy title (it's dirt cheap, too)
    Actually, this is the same old blues...; the "purists" who run the label either don't know it or won't admit it. This sort of purist nonsense is as old as the music but whenever another generation comes along there's another spasm of it. As for the selections, this is really fine music, as varied as you could possibly want. Even some greasy old soul that somebody probably smokes cigars to while they're swilling beer (just to mention a couple seemingly proscribed activities mentioned in the liner notes). But this label records stuff Alligator never did, right? Way wrong; Hound Dog Taylor was as funky as any of this.

    Filter out all the Fat Possum trademark noise and leave that to the college students to whom it matters. This is a very fine collection of blues that any blues fan will thoroughly enjoy. Maybe a slight lean toward the rural and the rocky but so what? ... Read more

    13. Chicago/Blues/Today!
    list price: $24.98
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    Asin: B00000JKF2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 66207
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blues masterpiece
    Every single one of the 42 tracks is a gem. All of the original liner notes and artwork are reproduced and augmented with additional notes for a total of 47 pages of blues history with lots of great period photography. I have two complaints though. The first is that the CDs are in hard cardboard sleeves which subjects them to possible scratching and difficulty in returning them to the sleeves. The second is that the song credits are not shown in the 3-CD set. If you buy the individual CDs, however, the song credits are shown! Just sloppiness I suppose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Three in one, or one in three
    I bought all three of the albums in this set separately a few years ago, but you can get all three in a set for this ridiculously low price. It would still be a great deal to buy each of the three discs for whatever it was that I paid, probably [cheap], because this is an utterly superb collection of electric blues that you could never find anywhere else. For my money the Otis Rush contribution is the best thing he ever recorded, the Junior Wells version of Help Me is better than the Sonny Boy original, and every single track on all three albums is absolutely choice. One of the strengths of the set is that with three acts on each disc, there is no space whatsoever for inferior or filler material. If you want Chicago electric blues, this set should be your first purchase.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great music, horrible packaging!
    Wow, this is one of the crown jewels as far as the electric blues is concerned!

    You can't go wrong with this although for those of you who think the electric blues started with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Moore, then this might be too 'ethnic' and not 'heavy' enough for you.

    That would be a sad thought really, since without albums like this, there wouldn't have been people like two mentioned up above, imo.

    However the packaging is terrible. The CDs were scratched when I opened it for the first time, prompting a return to the store for an exchange. The second copy was just as scratched leading me to believe that the paper sleeves themselves were the problem. A very poor design.

    If this is a big concern, then stick with the older CD reissues in their individual jewel cases. I believe they're still widely available through Vanguard.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Want To Know What Real Blues Is........
    If you want to know real Blues is, then buy this CD set. From the hard, honest singing of Johnny Shines to the soulful guitar of Otis Rush, to the Sheer Power of James Cotton to the sincere crooning of Junior Wells: Its all here! This album reads as virtual yearbook and testament to 1965 Chicago. If you want to know what the Chicago Blues scene was like in the 60's, then look no further. This stuff is too good die, it will just keep getting better!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Chicago Blues Heaven
    Quite simply, blues heaven. This compilation is a whole lot of bang for anybody's buck. Produced on a limited budget back in 1965, the musicians just streamed into the studio and did what they were known to do best. A barebones approach to recording, you won't find much in the way of studio wizardry here, but who cares?

    Legend has it that Johnny Shines and his band just walked in, unpacked their instruments and powered into a version of "Dynaflow Blues" that pasted the onlookers in the studio to the wall and that song is captured forever here as that one take. The onlookers themselves happened to be some of the finest blues musicians of the day.

    I later met some of the people bearing witness to that memorable day and they were still talking about it. Two decades later, Charles Musselwhite was still impressed enough to name one of his bands the Dynatones, in honor of the "Dynaflow Blues." Johnny Shines's voice is exciting and electric, his guitar playing has an electrified delta sound, and his music is pushed along by back-beat drumming. Johnny Shines and band continued pushing hard in the studio that day, laying down their tracks, I think recorded in the same sequence as they were played. They blistered through an essential hard blues, "If I Get Lucky" and at the end one of them shouts "Roll the tape!" as if that was all just a warm up session for the band. Man!

    That's Johnny Shines on two of his six tracks. But elsewhere on different tracks on the disc there's also a young Charles Musselwhite disguised as Memphis Charlie ... Johnny Young, Otis Spann, Otis Rush ... I don't have room here to say all that I want to say, just read the list of names on all the tracks and take a chance on this. I think it's superlative. Chicago/The Blues/Today has always been one of my favorite blues series, and one that will continue to inspire people for as long as it's played. There's a beautiful little book with this collection, full of photographs and stories, some 47 pages. ... Read more

    14. The Slide Guitar: Bottles, Knives, & Steel, Vol. 1
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B000002752
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 46796
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the greatest recordings ever.
    Even without the Slide Guitar moniker, these recordings stand as some of the best performances of the 20th century. A most have for all music lovers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is actually worth 10 or 11 stars
    I am tempted to write several reviews, all giving this album 5 stars because I simply must convince you how much you need to buy this. I originally had this on tape and I listened to it so many times that it became so warbly I was forced to buy the CD. This album has gotten me through so many hard times, long drives, flight layovers and bad relationships, that I cannot express it in the maximum of 1,000 words. I will simply leave you with this: I cannot think of a single person who /wouldn't/ love this CD. Buy it! You will be thanking yourself. ... Read more

    15. Raunchy Business: Hot Nuts & Lollypops
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000027DG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 61457
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tooo Cruuuude!
    Oh man! This puts Barnacle Bill the Sailor to shame. Just give a listen to song#5! Yikers!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection of Naughty Tunes -- Including One Zinger
    From almost the beginning of recorded music, songs have had some kind of sexual content. Compared to today where little is left to the imagination, this artists make clever use of double-entendres to tell their stories.

    For example, there's Lil Johnson's "My Stove's in Good Condition" in which she asks someone to "stick your match right in the hole." In Bo Carter's "My Pencil Won't Write No More" he complains that when he tries to write his pencil is "drooping."

    For those who want something a little less subtle there's Lucille Bogan's previously unreleased version of "Shave 'Em Dry." Lucille Bogan was as raunchy as any contemporary rapper way back in 1935! If you thought gangsta rap started the use of graphic language in music -- think again. There are lines in this track that would make Ice Cube blush (well, almost). In one of the track's tamer verses she says, "I'm going to turn back my mattress and let you oil my springs/I want you to grind me daddy till the bells do ring." If that's too much for you, there's her very different "clean" version. It's so different that you'll swear it was sung by a different person (who knows, it might be!).

    Overall, "Raunchy Business" lives up to its title. However, with the exception of Lucille Bogan's alternate version of "Shave 'Em Dry," it won't offend most adults as long as its not a formal function. ... Read more

    16. Chess Blues
    list price: $59.98
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    Asin: B000002OBW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 30663
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blues 101!!!
    All right, students, now pay attention! Put down that racing form and pay attention right now! This here Chess Blues box set contains exactly 101 tracks. How appropriate! That makes this collection a sort of unofficial college course entitled Blues 101, and Professors Wolf, Waters, James, and Jacobs (Little Walter), etc., etc., will be your blues instructors. You will learn the Fundamentals of Blues Harp, with Little Walter ("Juke") and Sonny Boy Williamson II ("Don't Start Me to Talkin'") as your master teachers. Over here, we have a course entitled Mellow Blues, with Willie Dixon ("Walkin' the Blues") and Jimmy Witherspoon ("Ain't Nobody's Business") showing you how it's done. Then, we have instruction in Blues and the Female Voice, with Koko Taylor ("What Kind of Man Is That," "Wang Dang Doodle") and Etta James ("Somethings Got A Hold Of Me," "I'd Rather Go Blind") as your teachers. Finally, what great university would be complete without Master Classes and the best professors in the business Muddy Waters ("Got My Mojo Workin'," "I Can't Be Satisfied," "My Eyes (Keep Me in Trouble"), Howlin Wolf ("Killin' Floor," "Evil," "Going Down Slow"), and John Lee Hooker ("Walkin' the Boogie," "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer") holding court for your edification. No, there is no blues university, but if there was one, the above masters would surely be the instructors and Chess Blues would certainly be the required text. As I said, it's packed with an amazing 101 songs, many of the best blues tracks ever recorded. There are a few clunkers, but very few. You will spend many enjoyable hours listening to this collection. (Trust me, it takes a few hours to listen to 101 songs once!) Get it today, and enroll in the best blues education money can buy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A terriffic addition to your blues collection
    This handsome boxset, complete with a large booklet, is a superb addition to your blues collection, even if you already have the best of the major Chess artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

    There are bound to be some tracks, especially by Waters and the Wolf, that overlap with what most blues lovers already own, but the "Chess Blues" compilers have done a very fine job assembling dozens of rarer tracks by artists like Robert Nighthawk, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Rush, Memphis Minnie McCoy, Lowell Fulson, Willie Mabon, Elmore James, Jimmy Oden and many others. And these high quality tracks, which make up the vast majority of the 101 cuts, make "Chess Blues" a very welcome supplement to the many available compilations featuring Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is it!
    The Delta gave birth to the Delta Blues and Chicago gave birth to the Chicago Blues but it would not have happened without Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and, of course, the Chess Brothers. This is their legacy - no true blues fan would be without this set as part of their collection -enough said!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Box set arrives like nucular bum
    Wow, this box set arrives in my discs with the force of a nuclear bomb...I bought it for [amt.] at a local record store; get the box set any way you can. You'll survive cataclysmic disaster for sure. The artists are badasses and geniuses all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth 10 Stars!
    Where would the music of today be without the music on this set? Every song is a classic. Phil and Leonard Chess had an ear for talent and it shows on this set. Not only do you get classics by Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf, there is also Etta James, Ko Ko Taylor, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, Willie Dixon (the MAN behind many of the Waters/Wolf classics) and many, many more. The booklet is fantastic and the sound quality is very good. Simply a set you can't do without. ... Read more

    17. Big Blues Extravaganza : The Best Of Austin City Limits
    list price: $9.98
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    Asin: B000006O7A
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 12902
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Here's a bountiful blues buffet from deep in the heart of Texas, courtesy of the long-running Austin City Limits television series. Texas talents--including Lightnin' Hopkins, represented by a suitably idiosyncratic "Rock Me Baby"; the razor-sharp Albert Collins, ripping through "Travellin' South" in front of a horn-powered band; and W.C. Clark, the godfather of the Austin blues scene, who sparkles on a song by hometown hero Willie Nelson--make the most of their spotlight time. And, naturally, there's Stevie Ray Vaughan, who leads Double Trouble through a tight and tasty "Love Struck Baby." Jimmie Vaughan's tribute to his blues brother, "Six Strings Down," follows in an example of the collection's creative sequencing. In like manner Gatemouth Brown's "Born in Louisiana" leads into Dr. John's New Orleans version of "Since I Fell for You," and Clark's rendition of "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away" segues into B.B. King's personalized cover of Nelson's classic "Night Life." The honorary Austinites, including a rambunctious Buddy Guy and a solo Rory Block, also make considerable contributions, the best probably being Taj Mahal bouncing through "Queen Bee" with Ben Harper on slide guitar, although Keb' Mo's straightahead "Tell Everybody I Know" isn't far behind. --Michael Point ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great compilation!
    This is a great sampling of the blues. B.B. King does an excellent "Night Life", his guitar is fabulous! One of my favorites is W.C. Clark, who I had never heard before. "Queen Bee" is the best Taj Mahal I have heard. Miss Lavelle White, Stevie Ray, Lightnin' Sam, Collins....I could go on and on. The recording quality varies very little from track to track, which is expected from Austin City Limits, as they are one of the few TV program which delivers excellent sound. Don't pass this one up!


    4-0 out of 5 stars This is a Texas blues mirror!!
    Texas is a State,full of hot deserts,but this cd shows that not only hot deserts...Texas always have hot blues with great icons of this musical style. We must reverence this contribution,specially the legendary SRV,and the great melodic voice of Delbert Mc Clinton! If you don't know what is the Texas Blues Twister,just buy this cd and.........

    5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Guitar magazine review:
    This greatest hits collection assembles fifteen performances from the famous television series "Austin City Limits." As a tribute to the televised music venue, it's a fine CD. And as a live blues disc it doesn't get much better than this. The recordings range from Lightnin' Sam Hopkins' "Rock Me Baby" from 1978 to Delbert McClinton's "Leap of Faith" from 1997. In between, are hot numbers from Albert Collins, Jimmie Vaughan, Keb' Mo', Gatemouth Brown, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Miss Lavelle White, the Neville brothers, Rory Block, and W.C. Clark. That's quite a lineup. Among the best tracks here, however, is Stevie Ray Vaughan's blistering performance of "Love Struck Baby" from 1983, when he was near the peak of his powers. B.B. King also turns in a fine "Night Life" from 1982 packed with his trademark vibrato and phrasing. Hot stuff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Feel it to your bones!
    Not only is this the Best of Austin City Limits, it is the best collection of blues I have heard in a long while. From Taj Mahal to Miss Lavelle White, each performer gives their all to make one feel like they are sitting in front of the stage, listening to the souful sounds being emitted. Fantastic! ... Read more

    18. Mali To Memphis: An African-American Odyssey
    list price: $15.98
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    Asin: B00000GWYD
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10364
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    The blues-Mali connection has been much pondered, and Mali to Memphis attempts to illustrate the tie with selections of both Malian artists and American bluesmen (and women). The Malian cuts, especially those from Rokia Traore, Boubacar Traore, and Lobi Traore, are the most persuasive, setting up long, monochromatic, loping grooves not dissimilar to John Lee Hooker's, over which are laid some spine-chilling vocals, tinged with the Arabic influences of Islam. Hooker himself, who comes in with an acoustic "I'm in the Mood for Love," is the most obvious U.S. stylistic link. Muddy Waters, Eric Bibb, and Jesse Mae Hemphill also provide interesting comparisons, but some of the other blues choices, nice as they are, aren't as convincing examples of musical similarity. The point is well made that it is within the vocal styles that any cross-cultural pollinations are found, not in the 8-, 10-, 12-, or 16-bar structures that dominate the blues idiom. The blues are a vehicle for stories, emotion, and tradition, and the griots of Mali share the same responsibility, only they are much more deeply embedded in, and fundamental to, the culture of the land, something that oozes out of every note they play. --Derek Rath ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Africa. America. Less Different Than I Imagined.
    Jeanette Belliveau seems a little disconnected about the source of the connection of the sounds in the two contrasted styles of music. Although the attitudes of blues originated in Africa, the sounds originated when black musicians picked up white instruments and tried to win acceptance through music. The only African instrument to make the journey from Africa to America and gain wide acceptance is the banjo -- which is almost never heard in black music, but rather has been adopted wholesale into white music.

    On the whole, however, the sound you hear in the blues music on this CD is examplary, and the Malian sound, though influenced by blues and played partly on Western instruments, is magical. My girlfriend, Sarah, was so influenced by this CD that she bought Taj Mahal's album _Senor Blues_ (q.v.) and I invested in some John Lee Hooker and am fishing for some Muddy Waters. As a way of finding out about black music, either in Africa or in America, as well as examining how the two cultures have traded off one another, this CD is unmatched and unmatchable. A definite five stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars African Culture Across the Atlantic
    When many westerners think of African music, they expect something exotic, something primitive, something mysterious. Yet for all their expectations, few Americans seem to realize that they are sitting on a goldmine of African traditions. The African musical traditions served to feed what would develop into the traditions of Blues, Jazz, Rap, Reggae, Rock, Gospel, Salsa and the like. And the purpose of this particular CD is to explore the African roots of the Blues.
    Like most Putumayo CDs, this one jumps from Mali to the US, back to Mali (and neghboring Guinea), and to the US again. However, this only serves to show the similarities between these two musical traditions. Excellent selections from big namessuch as John Lee Hooker, Habib Koite, Muddy Waers, Taj Mahal, Rokia Traore and Boubacar Traore characterize this CD. The music, whether Mande or southern, always maintains a uniquely Blues feel to it.
    And, as an added bonus to Blues fans, this CD really expands the entire genere. Compare John Lee Hooker's "I'm in the Mood" to Taj Mahal's "Queen Bee" and you'll see what I mean.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
    This cd is smooth and mellow. I've been addicted to it since I first got my hands onto it. A real pleasure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I really love this CD
    I love the music of Mali--the home of Timbuktu and some really amazing musicians. Their music and its five-tone scale is supposed to be the roots of the Blues. Though the slave trade was mostly a coastal event (Mali is land-locked), wars in the area resulted in prisoners who ended up on slave ships heading for America. The rich Mali music tradtion may have created our American blues.

    Here, side by side, Mali musicians play their music with a mix of electric guitar and traditional harp-lute along with cuts by John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. The music is arranged cleverly--you can hear the similarities quite clearly. But aside from being interesting historically, this music is just plain great to hear. The cd has fascinating liner notes, too.

    I've already played this twice through just out of the box, and I know this is going to be one of my play-all-the-time CD's.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
    this album is unbelievable. the transiion from the african rythms to the delta blues is incredible. It evokes an indescribable emotion when you listen to it. ... Read more

    19. Portugal: The Story of Fado
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $11.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000005H8V
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 54311
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying
    I bought this cd on the spur of the moment because it was cheap. All I can say now is that it's the best cd purchase I've made this year! When I first listened to it, I was a bit bothered by the tinny guitar accompaniment, but after repeated listens I grew accustomed to it, and I now love this music.
    I had never even heard of fado before buying this cd. It's truly beautiful music. If you also have never heard of fado before, I will try to describe it. This is not a form of rock music. It sounds a bit like the songs of some female American jazz singers, for example, Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holliday. The packaging says it is Portuguese blues, but it is definitely not as raw as the blues singers I'm familiar with (ie. Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and B. B. King.) Most of the songs sound sad, but not sentimental. There is a slightly rough quality to many of the singers' voices that is very attractive. The songs were recorded at various times over the last forty years, so the sound quality varies, but it is acceptable. Even though each track is sung by a different singer, the cd still holds together and feels like a unit. The cd packaging does not include the lyrics, unfortunately, but if you understand Portuguese the words are clear enough to figure out.
    Given that it introduced me to a new type of music that I now love, I would definitely recommend this cd to others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars awsome
    I foud this CD to be absolutely awesome. It is truly a classic and Yes, thats what you call "Blues"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Portugal's Soul for your Listening Pleasure
    Great CD--A great selection of male and female fadistas... Berta Cardoso, Max, Amalia Rodrigues, and Antonio M...truly wonderful. Pure enjoyment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Songs That Will Satisfy Your Saudade (Longings)
    This is a wonderful collection of fado. Even for those that are not conversant in the Portuguese language (like myself), the "essences" of the selections are communicated more than adequately through voice, tempo, and instrumentation. In general, the instrumentation is simple -- guitarras (Portuguese guitars), violas (Spanish guitars), and an occasional bass. They set the mood for the lyrics and the voice. Those that enjoy vocals, especially the "natural" voice, will fall in love with this collection. Amalia Rodrigues sings a marvelously passionate rendition of "Foi Deus." Tristao da Silva's silky baritone voice is exquisite in "Aquela Janela Virada Pro Mar." The other selections also stand on their own merits. The different artists that appear in the CD demonstrate the impressive range that exists within the genre of fado. I have listened to this CD often and will continue to listen to it many more times!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fado: suffering makes for beautiful music
    The fado (the word derived from the Latin for 'destiny') sings in a very nostalgic and intense way of lost love, lost loved ones, lost shores and any other suffering you may think of. The Portuguese will always listen to a fadista (fado singer) in silence, out of respect. A respect that is not always maintained in tourist places that offer fado. Some people find the Portuguese way of dealing with sorrow and singing about it in fados a bit oppressive. (Although there are some fairly merry fados as well.) The rather heavy suffering in the fado does make for very, very beautiful music, however, and this disc is a very good example of the art of fado. I particularly like 'A Rosinha Dos Limoes' which is about the singer going to the market to see his love 'littele Rosa' of the lemon stand, and also 'Partir E Morrer Um Pouco' ('leaving is dying a little'). The voice of the grand old man of Portuguese fado Alfredo Marceneiro is another treat on this CD. But it should be stressed that all tracks are of the same high quality. One may appreciate it even more, maybe, if one knows a little bit about the themes of the fados. A booklet with original and translated texts would be an extra asset. But even so: highly recommended! ... Read more

    20. Dirty Blues
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004WFCY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 66358
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