Various Artists

Blues Beginnings

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A mixed bag of fairly obscure electric blues sides, Blues Beginnings raises itself a notch by including tracks even some collectors might not have seen or heard before, including Baby Boy Warren's loose and easy "Mattie Mae," the ragged and fascinating "A Fool No More" by Eddie Hope, and Marvin Phillips' odd "Salty Dog," which might be characterized as a bossa nova blues, if there is such a thing. Nothing here went on to rewrite the blues canon, but it isn't exactly the same old same old, either.

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