Various Artists

Retro Blues: Roots Of Blues Music In America

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AllMusic Review by Gregory McIntosh

The fact that Park South's compilation Retro Blues: Roots of Blues Music in America starts off with Lightnin' Slim's "That's Alright," full on with electric guitar and organ, completely voids the title of this compilation. To declare that the roots of blues coincided with the electric guitar is silly because it is, of course, completely incorrect. Even though the title is erroneous, the compilation does feature some very important musicians who helped define what the blues has become in the contemporary sense. Featuring Leadbelly, Mississippi Fred McDowell, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and other heavyweights, Retro Blues: Roots of Blues Music in America is an enjoyable listen, but if the intent is to simultaneously learn about the roots of blues, one would be better suited to track down the numerous recordings issued by the Yazoo, Smithsonian, and Fremeaux & Associes labels.

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