Various Artists

2120 South Michigan, Vol. 1

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Subtitled "Great Blues from Chicago's Chess Records," athis two-disc, 34-track anthology is simply loaded with great material from the legendary Chicago label, running a chronology from 1949's "Big Town Playboy" by Little Johnny Jones to 1967's "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. Featuring no less than seven tracks from Howlin' Wolf ("Moanin' at Midnight," "Gettin' Old and Grey," "Fourty Four," "Smokestack Lightnin'," "Break of Day," "Goin' Down Slow" and "Killing Floor"), six from Sonny Boy Williamson ("Don't Start Me to Talkin'," "Keep It to Yourself," "Fattening Frogs for Snakes," "Your Funeral and My Trial," "The Goat" and "Nine Below Zero"), four from Little Walter ("Blues With a Feeling" and the instrumentals "Juke," "Don't Need No Horse" and "Fast Boogie"), and a pair each from Elmore James ("Whose Muddy Shoes" and an alternate take of "The Sun Is Shining"), Jimmy Rogers ("Walking By Myself" and "Ludella"), John Lee Hooker ("One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," an alternate take of "Walkin' the Boogie" sans overdubs) and Lowell Fulson ("Blue Shadows" and "Reconsider Baby"). Checking in with single track entries are Otis Rush ("So Many Roads, So Many Trains"), John Brim ("Ice Cream Man"), J.B. Lenoir ("Mama Talk to Your Daughter"), Memphis Slim ("Mother Earth"), Little Milton ("Satisfied"), Koko Taylor ("What Kind of Man Is This?") and Floyd Dixon (the eerie minor-key masterpiece "Please Don't Go"), making this no lightweight collection by any means. If you're looking for a nice chunk of blues history to go into the collection, this would make a good starting point.