Various Artists

Down the Dirt Road: Essential Mississippi

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Drawn from vintage 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s 78s, Down the Dirt Road does a wonderful job of presenting Mississippi's country blues tradition on a single disc, with signature songs from Charley Patton (""Down the Dirt Road Blues""), Tommy Johnson (""Canned Heat Blues""), Skip James (""I'm So Glad""), Big Joe Williams (""49 Highway Blues""), and Bukka White (""Fixin' to Die Blues""), along with tracks by lesser-known figures like Garfield Akers (""Dough Roller Blues"") and Tommy McClennan (""Cross Cut Saw Blues""). There are countless blues compilations out there, but this one has obviously been carefully assembled, and it presents the pure Mississippi roots of the genre.

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