The Texas Troubadour is an extremely competitively priced four-CD set covering the highlights of the first 16 years of Ernest Tubb's career, from "The Last Thoughts on Jimmie Rodgers" in 1936 up through his September 1952 holiday recording "Merry Texas Christmas You All!" -- it's no substitute for Bear Family Records' Walking the Floor Over You or Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello, which cover his complete output in chronological order from this period, but if you can't afford Bear Family's releases and don't mind the fact that nobody involved with the recordings, including the artist or his family, is getting paid, then this is an alternative. The sides are all cleanly mastered, at a very healthy volume level, and are assembled to showcase different aspects of his talent and history -- disc one ("Walking the Floor Over You") and disc two ("Slippin' Around: The Hits, Vol. 2") get the chart history out of the way in a unified manner, covering 1941 through 1949 and 1949 through 1952, respectively, from "Walking the Floor Over You" through "Too Old to Cut the Mustard." Disc three ("Blue Eyed Elaine: Tubb the Songwriter") is the jewel of this box, pulling together all of Tubb's original sides from the same period -- taken on its own, that disc is a five-star compilation, worth the cost of the set by itself, with some of Tubb's best non-hit performances, his most alluring vocals, and a downright soulful, spellbinding undertone throughout; it's such a good idea that MCA should have thought of it. Finally, disc four ("Time After Time: Writers Galore") ties up the loose ends, covering Tubb's best non-charting sides by other songwriters, filling in the holes between the hits and his own songs. The other major component is a highly detailed 48-page booklet containing an essay covering Tubb's whole career (with an understandable emphasis on the '30s, '40s, and early '50s) and a full sessionography on the songs.