The Mississippi Delta has some of the most fertile soil in the world and became one of the richest cotton growing areas in the world which, before the American Civil War, was worker exclusively by black slaves brought over from Africa. The blues was forged on the anvil of poverty and hardship the black sharecroppers and tenant farmers had to endure. Born of the harsh, brutal conditions of life in the South, and full of pain, frustration and anger, the passionate, soulful sounds of the Delta revolutionised the sound of 20th-century music. This compilation celebrates some of its greatest exponents.
Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues (particularly within the folk-blues traditions) spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities – all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the folk-blues recordings available, though the "big name" artists are largely absent from this one (Lightnin Hopkins does make an appearance singing about sharecropping, however). The songs are deliberately focused on the issues more than the music, but the music can still carry its soul. This one probably won't be on many highest-sales lists in the blues, but it's both historically important and musically enjoyable.
Levee Camp Moan's self-tilled LP, released in 1969 on the County Recording Service label (SVVS 132), is without a shadow of doubt one of the UK s rarest and most prestigious private pressings to emerge out of Britain's thriving underground blues scene of the late 60's….
This 52-disc (no, that is not a typo) comp, ABC of the Blues: The Ultimate Collection from the Delta to the Big Cities, may just indeed live up to its name. There are 98 artists represented , performing 1,040 tracks. The music begins at the beginning (though the set is not sequenced chronologically) with Charlie Patton, Son House, and Robert Johnson, and moves all the way through the vintage Chicago years of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, with stops along the way in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, New York, and all points in between. Certainly, some of these artists are considered more rhythm & blues than purely blues artists: the inclusion of music by Johnny Otis, Wynonie Harris, Bo Diddley, and others makes that clear…
This 52 disc Ultimate Collection features music from the Delta to the Big Cities. This special first edition also includes a historic puck harmonica. How blue can you get? You will find your favorites here and discover some hidden gems, as the 'ABC of the Blues' brings together the best of the best.
Newport Folk Festival: Best of the Blues 1959-1968 presents live performances from many of the top blues players of the era. From Skip James to Mance Lipscomb to Memphis Slim, these musicians play mostly acoustic blues before an appreciative audience.