Various Artists

Giants of Country Blues, Vol. 3

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Drawn from field recordings done by Andrea and Hannes Folterbauer in the Deep South in 1991 (one track is from 1981), Giants of Country Blues, Vol. 3 concentrates mostly on a trio of North Mississippi country blues players, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Ranie Burnette, and Junior Kimbrough (Jacob Stuckey is from Bentonia, MS and L.V. Conerly is from LA), whose rough, modal juke style has become well known in the blues community thanks to the various Fat Possum releases. The chief attraction of the tracks collected here is the complete lack of slickness they demonstrate, giving these traditional blues pieces the kind of immediacy and freshness that is too often lacking in what passes for blues on the contemporary commercial circuit. These are artists whose music is still in service to their local communities, providing entertainment at house parties and juke joints. Highlights include Hemphill's "Train, Train," Roosevelt Holts' update of Tommy Johnson's classic "Big Road Blues," Kimbrough's signature "All Night Long," and Tommy West's shaky but affecting version of "Catfish Blues."

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