This generous helping of classic post-war blues doesn't sacrifice impact for variety by jumping from artist to artist. Instead, each quarter of this four-disc box is devoted to a single artist. KING OF THE BOOGIE is a sampling of John Lee Hooker's VeeJay recordings, wherein he redefined his ominous boogie stomp in the context of an electric Chicago band, and to fine effect. These are some of his finest full-band sides, including classics like "Dimples" and "Crawlin' King Snake." Peter Chatman, better known to blues fans as Memphis Slim, is represented by LONESOME, which features the pianist/singer in fine form, churning out some rocking Chicago blues.
AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS offers a glimpse of Jimmy Witherspoon's vocal artistry. Bringing soul and jazz influences to his work, he rivaled Charles Brown for bluesy sophistication. Quintessential Chicago bluesman Jimmy Reed is featured on CRY BEFORE I GO. The tunes are taken from a 1970 recording Reed made for the Roker label, and they combine his classic sound with a modern band that brings funk and wah-wah guitar to the proceedings without overwhelming Reed.