Various Artists

A Collection of the Blues: Classic Blues Singers, Vol. 1

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This remarkable four-disc box set is a wonderful introduction to the blues for the curious, and it's a worthy addition to the collections of aficionados as well. The roster of great blues singers is not complete -- Bessie Smith, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland are missing, to name just a few -- but most of the heavyweights are represented here. The additions of cuts by some obscure and long-forgotten singers speak through the decades, sounding as real and lived-in as the day they recorded the songs.

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