Various Artists

Bar Room Blues: A 12-Track Program

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Even though its not a budget-line sampler, you won't be disappointed after paying list price for Bar Room Blues: A 12-Track Program, which highlights artists on the Telarc blues roster who have a serious juke-joint jones. Since Telarc released its hugely successful Blues for a Rotten Afternoon budget-line sampler in 2000, other labels jumped on the bandwagon and, before you knew it, music consumers were being bombarded ad nauseam with less than interesting compilations with cute titles like Jazz for Dads or Blues for the Child. Fortunately, these 12 cuts are top-notch and highlight modern guitar-driven blues by Tab Benoit, Troy Turner, Doug Wainoris, and Tinsley Ellis, along with standouts from veteran bluesmen Charlie Musselwhite ("Cold Grey Light of Dawn"), Junior Wells ("Last Hand of the Night"), Bob Margolin ("My New Baby Owns a Whiskey Store"), and Sam Lay ("Pure Grain Alcohol"). While you can safely bypass the majority of shoddy budget-line label samplers, Bar Room Blues: A 12-Track Program is one to look out for.

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