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Blues CompilationsCompilations

Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon: The Ultimate Rude Blues Collection

Let Me Squeeze Your Lemon: The Ultimate Rude Blues Collection Lowest new price: $12.26
Lowest used price: $9.81
Brand: Various

Rude, Rude Blues, Expletives, Innuendo And Just Plain Rude - When naughty Chuck Berry slipped 'My Ding a Ling' into the charts in 1972 he exposed a musical phenomenon that had a long, long history. People have been singing about sex since the dawn of popular music - and since the roots of rock are black one's, it+¡s no surprise the '40s onwards saw the blues community employing as many imaginative terms to describe 'the act' as there were ways of doing it! Rock 'n' Roll of course, is just one. This hugely popular double CD collection isn't so much X-rated as exhilarating, offering rib tickling rump shakers - each with their own nudge-nudge, wink wink meaning. The politically correct among US should check their pulse rate and stick to Abba. But if PC to you means the boys in blue or your home computer, you're old enough - and broad minded enough - to enjoy this feast of fleshy delights.

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Songs of the Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody From Eastern Kentucky, Vol. 2

Songs of the Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody From Eastern Kentucky, Vol. 2 Lowest new price: $7.70
Lowest used price: $8.98
Brand: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Model: SFW50001

The oldest English-language religious music in oral tradition in North America, the lined-out, congregational hymnody of the Old Regular Baptists is heard in the heart of the coal-mining country of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In this rare, beautiful, and heartfelt music lie the roots of the high, lonesome mountain sound of elaborate melodic turns and graces. Produced in collaboration with the Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists, this is the second of two Smithsonian Folkways albums devoted to their music; the first was SFW CD 40106.

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Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 (Volumes 1 to 4)

Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994 (Volumes 1 to 4) Lowest new price: $57.56
Lowest used price: $21.75

A four-CD, 80-song box set that, in line with similar Smithsonian productions, outlines the history of blues spanning over 50 years, with cuts by major performers who represent its stylistic evolution. The set is stuffed with classics by the likes of Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, Big Mama Thornton, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy, with plenty of slightly lesser-known artists like Lil' Son Jackson, Billy Branch, Big Maybelle, J.B. Lenoir, Doctor Clayton, and Junior Kimbrough. The selections are a tad conservative (if very good), and it's likely that serious blues fans will have a good share of the tracks in their collections already. The set also concentrates much more heavily on 1940-1970 material (which takes up about 75 percent of the contents) than blues from the 25 years from 1970 onward. If your interest falls somewhere between casual fan and dedicated collector, though, it's a good survey of major blues performers and genres, with an excellent historical overview and notes about each performer in the accompanying 92-page booklet.

Old Town City Blues

Old Town City Blues Lowest new price: $14.97
Lowest used price: $5.41
Model: 2027517

House of Blues: Essential Blues V.1

House of Blues: Essential Blues V.1 Lowest new price: $19.22
Lowest used price: $2.99

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Bluesmen & Rhythm Kings

Bluesmen & Rhythm Kings Lowest new price: $5.00
Lowest used price: $2.98
Brand: myBaby

Hard Times Come Again No More Vol. 2

Hard Times Come Again No More Vol. 2 Lowest new price: $13.94
Lowest used price: $7.34


The song titles tell the tale: "Bad Time Blues," "Starvation Blues," "No Dough Blues." The second volume of Yazoo's two-part '20s and '30s songs of insolvency series is every bit as involving and interesting as its 23-song affiliate. Artists renowned (Sleepy John Estes, Blind Blake) and remote sound off on the hardships many rural Americans endured up to and after the advent of the Great Depression. The subject matter is uniformly grim, but humor lightens the mood of many these tunes. "The poor are getting poorer / The rich are getting rich / If I don't starve I'm a son of a gun," Dave McCarn teases on "Cotton Mill Colic." Lengthy liner essays make the Hard Times discs all the more appealing for those with a partiality for both old-time music and Depression- era history. --Steven Stolder

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The Roots Of The Rolling Stones

The Roots Of The Rolling Stones Lowest new price: $6.08
Lowest used price: $3.29

It's hardly a state secret that the Rolling Stones started out as a blues cover band in 1962, and that the blues has always underpinned their long career, even as they flirted at different times with pop, disco, and reggae touches. The blues was always the touchstone, and this 22-track collection dips into some of the band's obvious influences, beginning with the Muddy Waters track "Rolling Stone," a version of Robert Petway's "Catfish Blues" (which is also included here) that gave the group its name, and reaching through to songs like Robert Wilkins' "That's No Way to Get Along," which appeared on the Stones' Beggars Banquet album as "Prodigal Son," and Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain," which the Stones' covered wonderfully on Let It Bleed. Even setting the Rolling Stones connection aside, this set makes for a varied little survey sampler of the different strains of the blues, from the swampy, lazy malaise feel of Slim Harpo's "I'm a King Bee" to the blastoff electric slide guitar riff that drives Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" (one could make a strong case that this track exemplifies everything the Stones aspired to be) and the Bo Diddley roots of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," the song that first broke the Stones to an American audience. Again, it's no secret that these songs provided the template for the band that the Stones became, so in that sense this set isn't exactly revelatory, but hearing these original versions underscores just how strongly the Stones absorbed, expanded, and relied on the blues every step of the way. It is revealing, even if it isn't much of a surprise. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi

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Takoma Slide { Various Artists }

Takoma Slide { Various Artists } Lowest used price: $7.00
Brand: Various

(1999/Takoma) 13 tracks. 13 slide guitar classics - delta bluesmen like Bukka White, electric guitarists like Bloomfield and country dobro like Mike Auldrige.

Medium 1
Rolling And Tumbling Blues - Eddie 'One String' Jones
Rolling Stone - Robert Pete Williams
Poor Boy - John Fahey
New Orleans Streamline - Bukka White
Preachin' Blues - Son House
T.L. Walkin' - Ron Thompson
At The Cross - Michael Bloomfield
Everybody Slides - Mike Auldridge
Poor Boy Long Ways From Home - Bukka White
Phoney Baloney - Chris Darrow
Vaseline Machine Gun - Leo Kottke
Goodbye, My Friend - Michael Gulezian
Oh Lord Want You To Help Me - Reverend Robert Wilkins

Blind Pig Artists: 20th Anniversary Collection

Blind Pig Artists: 20th Anniversary Collection Lowest new price: $29.47
Lowest used price: $2.20


One would expect a label's two-CD collection, no matter how assiduously picked, to have some low points. It's inevitable, one might think; even the most selective record labels have produced some duds. But on the 20th Anniversary Collection from Blind Pig Records, such low points are non-existent. It's a testimony to the label's exacting standards and the many reels of quality blues they've recorded over their first 20 years. There's something for everyone on this set, from traditional acoustic blues (check out Johnny Shines's rendition of "Blues Come to Texas"), to modern rockers (Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers' "Drive to Survive," for instance). Many up-and-coming artists are featured here, including Deborah Coleman ("My Heart Bleeds Blue") and Debbie Davies ("Howlin' at the Moon"), counterbalanced with plenty of old hands such as Carey Bell ("That Spot Right There") and John Lee Hooker ("Terraplane Blues"). There's even a rousing "La Vierge" from zydeco accordionist Al Rapone. All in all, while it's possible that not everything here will appeal to every taste, there's definitely something here for everyone. --Genevieve Williams

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