This generous 27-track entry in the Collector Records' Hillbilly Series features proto-bluegrass, Western swing, and other old-timey music hybrids transferred from the original 78s. As a rule, the several instrumentals included here fare the best, and rave-up cuts like "Buckeye Boogie" by the Buckeye Boys, "Rocky Mountain Boogie" by Jimmy Snow & the Rocky Mountain Playboys, and "Record Spinning Boogie" by the Smokey Mountain Ramblers (featuring guitarist Bill Huskey) have a timeless and rangy energy that would translate in any era. The vocal selections seem less immediate, but a jazzed up and horn-driven version of the fiddle tune "Old Joe Clark" (renamed "Jive Around Old Joe Clark") by Gabe Tucker is as much New Orleans jazz as it an Appalachian square dance reel, and the resulting hybrid is quite striking, as is Preston Ward's assured singing on "Tennessee Saturday Night." Casual listeners may well find the selections here a little similar sounding from track to track, but record collectors and music historians will undoubtedly be delighted by their rarity.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett