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American Regional Blues

His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection Lowest new price: $5.49
Lowest used price: $3.41
Model: 2017027

Little Walter's huge wailing harp sound makes it easy to understand why people call the harmonica the "Mississippi Sax." This 20-song CD contains all of his biggest numbers, including Juke; My Babe; You're So Fine; Blues with a Feeling; Sad Hours; Mean Old World , and more from the harp-blowing blues master.

Marion "Little Walter" Jacobs is perhaps the most influential harmonica player on contemporary blues, and his collection is a great place to start. He was trained by Muddy Waters, but brought a more swinging feel to blues. Muddy and his band accompany Little Walter on many hits, as do Robert "Jr." Lockwood, the Aces, and other Chicago greats. In the 1950s, Little Walter's popularity eclipsed even Waters', his style a little more relaxed and pop-oriented. Walter's versions of many songs are the standards: "Blues with a Feeling," "You're So Fine," "Juke." Great stuff. --Robert Gordon

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Texas Flood (Legacy Edition)

Texas Flood (Legacy Edition) Lowest new price: $10.00
Lowest used price: $4.57
Brand: CD
Model: 26193350

Texas Flood was the thunderclap from a clear blue sky. The album appeared in midsummer 1983, when most saw blues-rock
as a quaint remnant of rock's past, introducing the power trio Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble to an unexpecting world. Its raw crunch and confident swagger was undeniable. For rockers, Texas Flood had the right volume and drive; for blues purists,it dignified the tradition. For those seeking an anarchic, punk-like rush, it felt like a roaring, rattling train about to skip its tracks.For all, the album unveiled a new guitar genius who would come to show that much remained to be written in the book on electric guitar.
The original ten tracks of Texas Flood plus a never released concert performance by Stevie Ray and Double Trouble from Philadelphia that same summer comprise this special 2-CD, 30th anniversary collection.

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Two Steps From The Blues

Two Steps From The Blues Lowest new price: $5.37
Lowest used price: $1.20
Model: 1972474

It doesn't matter that Blue was 72 when he cut this album in 2002; it's still considered one of the very best albums of his storied career. Blending blues, gospel and soul, Bobby's incredible vocals work wonders on both the new songs and the blues standards, including "I Pity the Fool; Don't Cry No More; I'll Take Care of You; Cry Cry Cry; Little Boy Blue", and more.

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Memphis Lowest new price: $8.90
Lowest used price: $4.50
Brand: CD
Model: 26256794

Grammy-Award winning rock legend Boz Scaggs showcases both original songs and choice covers in his new album, MEMPHIS out March 5, 2013 on 429 Records. Produced by Steve Jordan (John Mayer), Memphis was recorded at Willie Mitchell legendary Royal Studio in Memphis, where the late Mitchell recorded Al Green and other hit music artists. Joining Scaggs on MEMPHIS are Willie Weeks (bass), Ray Parker Jr. (guitars), Spooner Oldham (keyboards), the Memphis Horns, Lester Snell (string arrangements) and Steve Jordan (drums).

William Royce Boz Scaggs began a long and storied career in 1965 with the release of his first solo recording Boz. Scaggs quickly developed into an iconic singer songwriter cutting his teeth playing with Steve Miller on several highly successful projects and honing his rock and R&B chops working with the likes of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and Duane Allman. Scaggs hit it big in 1976 achieving multi-platinum success with Silk Degrees and its follow ups. Scaggs continued on a lauded and multi-genre musical journey with successes in film soundtracks. He and his band continue to tour worldwide and Scaggs also performs alongside Donald Fagan and Michael McDonald in their band billed as The Dukes of September.

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Raising Sand [Vinyl]

Raising Sand [Vinyl] Lowest new price: $21.99
Lowest used price: $18.99
Model: 28928203

Double vinyl edition of their classic album which was released in October 2007.

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The Original Delta Blues (Mojo Working': Blues For The Next Generation)

The Original Delta Blues (Mojo Working': Blues For The Next Generation) Lowest new price: $3.72
Lowest used price: $3.55
Model: 3865123

This album-a 1998 Rolling Stone Top 25 all-time blues title-features the guitar and vocal style that helped define Delta blues, generations before it moved north to Chicago. Includes Death Letter; Preachin' Blues; Levee Camp Moan; Downhearted Blues , and more of the most influential blues recordings ever made.

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Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)

Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith) Lowest new price: $61.76
Lowest used price: $59.99
Brand: Unknown

Over 50 years after its original 1952 vinyl release, this is still the best American roots music collection around! Musicologist Harry Smith assembled the anthology from 78 rpm discs issued between 1927 and 1935. This 6-CD reissue was painstakingly researched, annotated and packaged to perfection. With 84 rare tracks, this one is a library all by itself! Includes Drunkard's Special Coley Jones; Peg and Awl Carolina Tar Heels; Frankie Mississippi John Hurt; Engine 143 Carter Family; Indian War Whoop Hoyt Ming & His Pep-Steppers; Newport Blues Cincinnati Jug Band; John the Revelator Blind Willie Johnson; Fifty Miles of Elbow Room Rev. F.W. McGee; Sugar Baby Dock Boggs; See That My Grave Is Kept Clean Blind Lemon Jefferson; The Lone Star Trail Ken Maynard, and many more!

This impressive--and frankly, fun--musical document is still sending out shock waves almost 50 years after its original 1952 vinyl release. The Smithsonian's six-CD reissue is painstakingly researched, annotated, and packaged (even boasting an enhanced disc for the techno-capable). Unlike field recorders, eccentric filmmaker/collector/musicologist Harry Smith assembled the Anthology from commercially released (though obscure) 78 rpm discs issued between 1927 and 1935. Its broad scope--from country blues to Cajun social music to Appalachian murder ballads--was monumentally influential, setting musicians like Bob Dylan down the path to folk fandom. The White House started its own national music library with the Anthology; anyone with more than a passing interest in American roots music should do the same. --Michael Ruby

More from Smithsonian Folkways

The Harry Smith Connection: A Live Tribute To The Anthology Of American Folk Music

Classic Maritime Music from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Smithsonian Folkways American Roots Collection

Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways

Folkways: The Original Vision

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From the Cradle

From the Cradle Lowest new price: $2.99
Lowest used price: $0.17
Brand: Clapton,Eric
Model: 2030788

Certified at 3 million units by the RIAA. (3/95)

The full-tilt blues album that Clapton had been promising for years, From the Cradle proves the guitarist's enduring devotion to a form he had long relegated to merely a flavor in his music rather than the main ingredient. Clapton's singing on the album is somewhat mannered; he tries to compete with original versions of these songs by Muddy Waters, Charles Brown, and others, and there's no way he's going to win that battle. Still, you can feel the emotional connection Clapton has with these songs, and guitar aficionados will swoon over his fretwork on songs such as "Third Degree," "Someday After a While," and the incendiary "Groanin' the Blues." --Daniel Durchholz


  • Eric Clapton - From The Craddle Brazil Import

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Best Of: Slim Harpo

Best Of: Slim Harpo Lowest new price: $6.95
Lowest used price: $4.04
Model: 2302786

Slim's style of Louisiana blues sounds just as fresh today as it did to the British blues rockers who co-opted it more than 30 years ago. This 16-track CD features Baby, Scratch My Back; Rainin' in My Heart; I'm a King Bee; Te Ni Nee Ni Nu; Tip On In, Part 1; Shake Your Hips , and more from the king of swamp blues.

Slim Harpo recorded really good rhythm and blues. He never got too fancy; he never forgot the importance of the groove. He died young in 1970, but his music reached the Rolling Stones (who covered his "I'm a King Bee"), the Kinks (who sang his "I Got Love If You Want It"), Van Morrison, and Them (whose first single was Harpo's "Don't Start Crying Now"). These songs and other greats--"Tip on In," "Baby, Scratch My Back"--are all included in this excellent collection of Harpo's greatest sides. --Robert Gordon

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Keb' Mo'

Keb' Mo' Lowest new price: $4.88
Lowest used price: $1.34
Model: 2011510


Every few years, an acoustic guitar player decides he wants to be the next Robert Johnson and endears himself to the blues world--Rory Block, John Hammond Jr., and Taj Mahal have crossed this road in the past. Veteran backup guitarist Kevin "Keb' Mo'" Moore has the freshest approach to pulling it off, turning Johnson's devil-obsessed classics "Come on in My Kitchen" and "Kindhearted Woman Blues" into friendly folk music on this 1994 debut. Unlike many of the great bluesmen, the personable Moore doesn't aspire to be evil or even rebellious; he writes terrific songs (most notably the opening "Every Morning" and "Dirty Low Down and Bad") and performs them with talent and charisma. --Steve Knopper

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