Various Artists

Big Bad Blues

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The roots of rock & roll came from early R&B, and the Sun label in Memphis was greatly responsible for bringing this sound to the world. But not all of the musicians came from Memphis, therefore Sun should also be credited for giving them a shot at a recording career far from home. The best known names on this 25-track compilation are Rufus Thomas, Willie Nix, Little Milton, James Cotton, the immortal Howlin' Wolf, Doctor Ross, and Rosco Gordon, and you hear a raw side to their music that was enhanced later in their careers by better recording equipment and more sophisticated arrangements. Lesser known but important bluesmen to note are Pat Hare and Sammy Lewis with Willie Johnson (the only artists on this set to get two tracks), D.A. Hunt, Mose Vinson, and Eddie Snow, but all are well worth discovering, for the first time or from past glories long since forgotten. This sampler comes recommended.

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