Various Artists

The Essential Blues [House of Blues]

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Essential Blues is an attempt to trace the evolution of the music from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago and other modern, urban cities. It does a fairly good job in providing a brief history, but the main strength of the collection simply comes from the music. Featuring cuts from Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Slim Harpo, Junior Parker, Elmore James, Albert Collins, and many, many others, it's a quick and effective way to sample a variety of different blues styles. For neophytes, Essential Blues does offer a splendid introduction to the genre.

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