Various Artists

Blowing the Fuse: 27 R&B Classics That Rocked the Jukebox in 1946

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This is the second of 11 volumes in Bear Family's remarkable series (produced by Dave "Daddy Cool" Booth), and annotated exhaustively (each track has its own liner notes) by Colin Escott. One of the most remarkable things about these collections -- besides the awesome music -- is the packaging, which combines period photos, session and liner notes in an irresistible foldout digipack. Like its predecessor, this set features well-known artist like Wynonie Harris, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Joe Turner, Big Maceo, Jay McShann, the King Cole Trio, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Roy Milton, and Dinah Washington (at the dawn of her career as a blues singer), alongside nearly forgotten acts like the Blues Woman (aka Marion Abernathy), with her one regional hit "Voo-It! Voo-It!" The Cats 'N Jammer Three with the original version of "I Cover the Waterfront," Bill Samuels and his "Port Wine," steamroller, and Velma Nelson with the raw "If I Were a Itty Bitty Girl, Part 1." Other artists who appear here, such as Red Callendar, T-Bone Walker, Erskine Hawkins, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Julia Lee, round out a truly stomping, slice of history where the world may have been at war but at the corner juke joint, things were hoppin'.

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