Blind Blake

The Best of Blind Blake [Wolf]

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Blind Blake was an extremely popular performer in the 1920s and 1930s, with a long list of 78s to his credit. But success has its price, at least in terms of listening to his recorded output all these decades later on modern digital audio equipment. Since so many people owned his 78s, many copies survived in attics and garages into the modern era. That's the good news. The bad news is that Blind Blake's accomplished and innovative guitar playing was so widely admired, his 78s were played to death by their owners, and under those heavy stylus arms, the records deteriorated into a noisy haze of cracks, pops, and surface static. Hearing the recordings today is often like listening to music in the middle of a rainstorm. A good half of Blind Blake's collected body of work is difficult to listen to for that reason. This compilation of Blake tracks from Vienna label Wolf Records is a case in point. The sound transfers are at least marginally better on the two Yazoo Blind Blake collections, and while problems with surface noise is still present on those releases, they remain the best purchases.

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