Skip James

Three Shades of Blues

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A rather strange single-disc collection, Three Shades of Blues is a compilation of recordings by blues giants Skip James, Bukka White and Blind Willie McTell. Quite why these three artists have been chosen is something of a mystery, but it could certainly be argued that their recordings all have an eerie, otherworldly quality to them, detached from more conventional blues artists. The song selection also seems a little baffling -- there's no "Devil Got My Woman" from Skip James or "Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues" from Blind Willie McTell, so this release hardly assembles the widely acknowledged "best" of these artists. It comes across as a decent enough primer on the blues, but feels distinctly scattershot and lacks any kind of cohesion.