Various Artists

The Best of Southern Blues [Fuel 2000]

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This may not be the best anthology ever of Southern blues, but it sure has a lot of great material on its two discs (which could have easily been squeezed onto one disc, by the way), from Delta classics like Son House's "Death Letter" and Tommy Johnson's "Canned Heat Blues" to rock & roll-era stompers like Ike Turner's "Get It Over Baby" and Rufus Thomas' immortal chunk of ragged soul, "Walkin' the Dog." There isn't a lame track included, and it is particularly refreshing to hear rarer selections like Mississippi Fred McDowell's haunting version of "Levee Camp Blues" or Snooky Pryor's funky "Stop the Train Conductor" alongside more familiar fare like Bukka White's "Fixin' to Die Blues" or Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right Mama." All in all, it adds up to a pretty nifty little blues sampler.

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