These 12 tracks were collected in a joint project by the Library of Congress and Fisk University in 1941 and 1942, concentrating on Mississippi country blues as well as the field hollers and spirituals that were the blues' direct ancestors. A couple of these performers are actually pretty well known; Son House has three cuts and contributes to the "Camp Hollers" selection, while David "Honeyboy" Edwards does a version of "Worried Life Blues." The acoustic blues are okay but not among the greatest vintage Delta stuff available, and the fidelity is muffled, though not as raunchy as what you'll get on remastered 78s from the Depression era. There are actually only two a cappella hollers on the disc, and there are also a couple of spirituals by congregations that serve as examples of the oft-overlooked influence of gospel on the blues.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger