The twelve cuts on this CD feature the "best of" Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis, Ma Rainey, Skip James, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House with each represented on two tunes. It is part of a six-CD series which will introduce new listeners to heroes who gave birth to the blues starting in the 1920ís.
The Skip James tune "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" and Ma Rainey's rendition of "See See Ryder" alone are worth an investment in this CD. The guitar styling on the Mississippi Fred McDowell tune "Highway 61" is resplendent and every blues guitarist should listen to this one for hours and days!
This CD is traditional blues which might strike one as old-fashioned to those accustomed to slick presentations. The selections reveal the roots firmly planted by some blues innovators who established the foundation of blues that others would build upon. This is a rich collection of raw blues which is good listening but most importantly, educationally relevant.
by Dorothy Hill
More New Sounds - November 2003 CD Reviews
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, November 2003 issue, all rights reserved