This is an 18-song cross section of Sykes' work (some originally released under the name Willie Kelly) cut between 1929 and 1944. Even on the early sides, cut under relatively primitive technical conditions, his rollicking good spirits are conveyed beautifully, both in his singing and his stomping piano style. Among his enduring classics, "44 Blues" is represented, along with his de facto signature tune "The Honey Dripper," but there's hardly a song among the other 16 that's not just as worthwhile, and this is a good introduction to Sykes' sound and music overall, especially at its budget price. What's more, the sound is good (veering toward excellent on some tracks, such as "She's in My Blood"), and even at the low retail price the producers have included recording dates on every cut.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder