Various Artists

Blues Masters, Vols. 1-5

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Blues Masters Vols. 1-5 gathers the first third of Rhino's Blues Masters series into a five-disc box set. From the horn-driven sounds of urban blues songs like Otis Rush's "I Can't Quit You Baby," Dinah Washington's "Baby Get Lost," and Albert King's "Laundromat Blues" to Chicago blues classics such as Muddy Waters' "Just Make Love to Me," Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightning," and Magic Sam's "All Your Love," the set presents the biggest names as well as the somewhat lesser-known talents from each blues style it covers. Other highlights include T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday," Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Flood Down in Texas," and Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll." Though each of the individual volumes -- Urban Blues, Post-War Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, Harmonica Classics, and Jump Blues Classics -- is impressive in its own right, collecting them as Blues Masters Vols. 1-5 makes them a convenient and comprehensive primer of the blues' definitive artists and styles.

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