Various Artists

Broke, Black and Blue [Box]

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AllMusic Review by

This four-disc, 100-track box set differs from most blues compendiums on a number of fronts. For openers, it focuses on the first 20 years of blues recordings, from 1924's "Barrelhouse Blues" by Ed Andrews to 1946's "Rhythm Mama" by Johnny Temple. Second, even though there are entries from artists like Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, Big Joe Williams, Bukka White, and Lonnie Johnson, the box is not overloaded with big-name artists. Instead, the set leans toward more obscure names, like Big Boy Cleveland, Kid Brown, Chicken Wilson, Skeeter Hinton, "Mooch" Richardson, and Isaiah Nettles, "the Mississippi Moaner." Also noteworthy is the inclusion of some of the rarest of all country-blues titles, by everyone from Tommy Johnson to Rube Lacy. Covering all the bases -- from vaudeville to barrelhouse, boogie to Delta blues -- this is an oddball set, for sure, but one loaded with great music, solid annotation, and an interesting perspective. Well worth picking up.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:51 Amazon
2 03:27 Amazon
3 03:25 Amazon
4
02:51 Amazon
5 02:41 Amazon
6
03:15 Amazon
7 03:13 Amazon
8
02:41 Amazon
9
02:58 Amazon
10
02:42 Amazon
11
02:25 Amazon
12 03:17 Amazon
13
03:03 Amazon
14
03:24 Amazon
15 02:54 Amazon
16 03:00 Amazon
17 02:45 Amazon
18
02:32 Amazon
19 03:03 Amazon
20 03:00 Amazon
21 03:15 Amazon
22 03:26 Amazon
23 03:21 Amazon
24 03:12 Amazon
25 03:22 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:55 Amazon
2 03:02 Amazon
3 02:58 Amazon
4 03:05 Amazon
5 03:09 Amazon
6 02:58 Amazon
7 03:21 Amazon
8 03:17 Amazon
9 03:04 Amazon
10 03:08 Amazon
11
02:49 Amazon
12 02:42 Amazon
13 02:59 Amazon
14 03:08 Amazon
15 03:10 Amazon
16 03:08 Amazon
17 03:14 Amazon
18 03:08 Amazon
19 03:06 Amazon
20 02:58 Amazon
21 03:01 Amazon
22 03:28 Amazon
23 03:07 Amazon
24
03:11 Amazon
25 02:54 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
03:18 Amazon
2 03:30 Amazon
3 02:50 Amazon
4 03:04 Amazon
5 03:08 Amazon
6 03:16 Amazon
7
03:13 Amazon
8
03:12 Amazon
9 03:05 Amazon
10
03:01 Amazon
11 03:09 Amazon
12 02:57 Amazon
13 02:46 Amazon
14 03:00 Amazon
15 03:15 Amazon
16 02:37 Amazon
17 02:48 Amazon
18 02:49 Amazon
19 03:09 Amazon
20
03:10 Amazon
21 02:32 Amazon
22 02:39 Amazon
23
02:39 Amazon
24 02:59 Amazon
25 02:46 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:52 Amazon
2 02:38 Amazon
3 03:09 Amazon
4 02:55 Amazon
5 03:19 Amazon
6 02:56 Amazon
7 02:57 Amazon
8 02:49 Amazon
9 02:56 Amazon
10 02:42 Amazon
11 02:56 Amazon
12 02:31 Amazon
13 02:50 Amazon
14 02:50 Amazon
15 02:37 Amazon
16 02:45 Amazon
17 02:43 Amazon
18 02:52 Amazon
19 02:37 Amazon
20 02:53 Amazon
21 02:45 Amazon
22 02:50 Amazon
23 02:45 Amazon
24 02:46 Amazon
25 02:38 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick