Various Artists

Masters & Disciples [Collectables]

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Conceptually, this was a really good idea -- mix and match great blues icons opposite lesser-knowns who were undoubtedly influenced by them. The icons are T-Bone Walker (everybody here was influenced by T-Bone, and rightly so), Freddie King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and Johnny Copeland, their selections ranging from classic to obscure, with production values solid to inadequate. The disciples are T-Bone, Jr. (who never got off the ground, sounding more like Magic Sam than his dad), Texas Pete Mayes, Goree Carter, Pat O'Bryan, and T.D. Bell. Of these, O'Bryan is the artist you'd like to hear more from -- he's a rock-solid blues vocalist and guitarist. The two cuts from Mayes are poorly produced and not that audible, which is an issue prevalent throughout the collection. Judging by the scant information, it would appear these tracks were recorded at Scandinavian blues festivals sometime between the late '60s and mid-'70s by a less than professional crew, perhaps on a cassette player. The result is derivative musical content coupled with marginal sound quality on at least 60 percent of the disc. It's a disappointment for a project whose heart was in the right place. Also note that Joe "Guitar" Hughes, the Finns, and Hansi Müller are advertised on the front cover but aren't credited in the song title listings.

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