Various Artists

Blues Goin' Down

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This 18-track vinyl compilation brings together some truly great and very obscure early 1950s blues classics together on one disc. John Lee Henley's "Rhythm Rockin' Boogie" (which features Robert Jr. Lockwood on guitar, who spends most of the track trying to keep Henley from breaking meter) kicks things off, followed by J.B. Hutto's storming "Combination Boogie" and "Price of Love," the latter being originally unissued in the '50s and taken here from the lone surviving acetate. Jimmy Reed sideman Eddie Taylor brings three excellent performances ("Find Me a Baby," "Stroll Out West" and "I'm Looking for Somebody") to the side, which closes with three tracks from Sun harmonica legend Doctor Ross ("Call the Doctor," "Doctor Ross Boogie" and "32-20 Blues"), all three taken from his late 1950s tenure with Detroit's Fortune Records. The second half of the album is equally potent, featuring stellar sides from Jody Williams ("You May"), Little George Smith ("Oopin' Doopin' Doopin," "Blues Stay Away," "Blues In the Dark," "Telephone Blues"), Big Boy Spires ("About to Lose My Mind," "Which One Do I Love"), James Stewart ("Sweet Woman") and James Walton and His Blues Kings ("Leaving Blues"). The fidelity on this compilation of dubious legality is spotty throughout (all of it taken from fairly beat-up vinyl transfers), but the ultra rarity of these sides make this a safe bet not to be seeing the compact disc light of day anytime in the near future, even in piecemeal form.