Various Artists

Mojo Workin': Blues for the Next Generation

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This is a 16-track sampler from various entries in Columbia's Mojo Workin' series, which gets pared down to a one-big-hit-per-artist format, starting with Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" and Memphis Minnie's "When the Levee Breaks" and finishing up with Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Texas Flood" and Keb' Mo''s "Am I Wrong." The stopping-off points in between include entries from Muddy Waters ("The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock & Roll"), Blind Boy Fuller ("Rag Mama Rag"), Blind Willie McTell ("Southern Can Is Mine"), Blind Willie Johnson ("Motherless Children") and Bessie Smith ("It Makes My Love Come Down"), along with more modern tracks from Taj Mahal ("Last Fair Deal Gone Down"), the Electric Flag ("Killing Floor") and Johnny Winter ("Johnny B. Goode"). Perhaps not so surprisingly, this mixing of time frames, styles, and divergent approaches to the blues makes for some fine listening, as well as making this a nice entry-level disc.

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