Various Artists

This is a limited edition two-disc compilation loaded with 32 legendary blues performances.  Songs are by blues greats including BB King, The Band with Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Howlin' Wolf, Taj Mahal, Colin James, Ray Charles, & many more.  The great thing about this two-disc compilation set is that each track is by a different artist, so you get a sampling of popular blues bands from all decades. There's also a variety of blues styles in this collection – Delta, Chicago and Texas blues.  To mix things up even more it is a collection of live and studio performances. 
The album starts strong with B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone" and it never lets up.  Contemporary artists like Colin James rub elbows with greats like John Lee Hooker.  Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon and Big Joe Turner; they all take their turns and produce some of the best blues music ever caught o­n CD.  This is the type album that can stand multiple listens and a varied audience.  I mean, who can say no to Ray Charles or ZZ Top or Ry Cooder?  These are the blues men who drove a generation.  Allow the woman in me wonders where the other women are?  I mean, this is the ultimate in blues-doesn't Ella or Natalie count for anything?  I don't even want to think about how many women were excluded from this male heavy album.  I don't think anyone would say (sans misogynists) that women are rightfully excluded from the winner's circle of blues.  Aside from this smallish gender complaint, this album is amazing.
Overall, it's a really good compilation set with something to cater to everybody's blues interests and an especially good buy if you're a blues newbie.

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