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Traditional Blues


The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection)

The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection) Lowest new price: $14.53
Lowest used price: $9.62
Brand: Columbia
Model: 16478877

May 8, 2011, marks the 100th birthday of Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson, who, according to legend, sold his soul down at the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49 in a midnight bargain that has haunted the music world for three-quarters of a century. The deal brought forth Johnson s incandescent guitar technique and a run of 10-inch 78 rpm singles for the Vocalion, Oriole, Conqueror and Perfect labels recorded in San Antonio in 1936 and Dallas in 1937. Those songs have become a cornerstone of Columbia Records identity, and will be celebrated on two CENTENNIAL releases from Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

THE CENTENNIAL COLLECTION double-disc set shares the same genealogy as 1990 s Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings, but that package has now been updated for a new generation. The set includes a new essay by Ted Gioia alongside a new biography of Robert Johnson written by Stephen C. LaVere (completely different from his essay in the 1990 version). Also included are new illustrations, photo images, and a family tree of music originating from Robert Johnson.

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Essential John Lee Hooker Collection

Essential John Lee Hooker Collection Lowest new price: $14.08

2010 three CD collection from the Blues great housed in a tin box. John Lee Hooker left a legacy which chronicled the journey that Blues music travelled in his own lifetime, from it's early, earthy origins to the international musical language it is today. This fantastic collectors' edition brings together 60 of his key recordings. Metro.

Features:

  • Essential John Lee Hooker Collection by John Lee Hooker (2010-07-13)

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The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The blues

The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The blues Lowest new price: $11.19
Lowest used price: $11.63
Brand: Bromberg, David

David Bromberg, Godfather of Americana, musicians musician, decorated multi-instrumentalist, and acclaimed singer-songwriter, hits a milestone with his debut Red House Records release The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues. Produced by three-time Grammy winner Larry Campbell, its a wonderfully curated selection of deep cuts from the blues genre, in addition to luminous originals and traditional material given the Bromberg treatment. David found his inspiration for the album when he heard Willie Nelson repeat a quote from Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble: There s only two kinds of music - the Star-Spangled Banner and the Blues.  Propelled by Brombergs unparalleled playing and gift for interpretation, a crack band and Campbells tasteful horn arrangements, the album takes us to electrifying heights as well as intimate acoustic moments on his arrangements of songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, George Little Hat Jones, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson and others. David puts his unmistakable stamp on these chestnuts, then digs deep into the historical archives for such mysterious musical nuggets as How Come My Dog Don t Bark When You Come Round? and 900 Miles, an old country song imagined as if Howling Wolf were to play it. Bromberg may be singing the blues, but this is anything but a downer as he proves that hes still as entertaining, brilliant and witty as when his career began in 1971.

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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: $4.53
Lowest used price: $3.33
Brand: Sbme Special Mkts.
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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  • Shrink-wrapped

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Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits (Decca)

Billie Holiday's Greatest Hits (Decca) Lowest new price: $3.72
Lowest used price: $1.42
Model: 1973194

There's no such thing as a genuine Billie Holiday greatest-hits collection--her career was split among too many labels for that--but this single-disc distillation of the Complete Decca Recordings 2 CD set (recorded between 1944 and 1950) is pretty solid. Holiday's in fine vocal form (though her accompaniment is undistinguished easy-listening stuff; the choir on "God Bless the Child" is a bit frustrating), and the songs are arranged to work as an album rather than chronologically. She transcends the ideas of torch songs, of blues, of ballad singing--her version of "Lover Man" exemplifies erotic despair, tormented and aroused at once--and even the lesser-known tracks here are pleasant surprises, like a Leonard Bernstein song. --Douglas Wolk

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Live At The Regal [Vinyl]

Live At The Regal [Vinyl] Lowest new price: $12.67
Lowest used price: $17.70
Brand: VINYL

180-gram vinyl re-release of B.B. King's classic live album 'Live At The Regal.' Recorded November 21, 1964 at the Regal Theater in Chicago and released the following year, the album is considered one of the greatest blues recordings ever, with Rolling Stone naming it 141 on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It is also included in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. King, talking about the album, admitted 'that particular day in Chicago, everything came together.'

Features:

  • LP
  • RECORD
  • VINYL
  • 33 RPM
  • 12 INCH

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Precious Lord Recordings of The Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A Dorsey

Precious Lord Recordings of The Great Gospel Songs of Thomas A Dorsey Lowest new price: $4.74
Lowest used price: $4.73
Brand: Legacy
Model: 3865256

On this 16-track collection we get to hear some legendary artists perform the great compositions from "the father of gospel music." Includes Take My Hand, Precious Lord Marion Williams; When the Gates Swing Open Dixie Hummingbirds; (There'll Be) Peace in the Valley R. H. Harris; Highway to Heaven Alex Bradford (with Dorsey on piano), and others.

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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: $53.17
Lowest used price: $42.99
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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Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection Lowest new price: $9.76
Lowest used price: $1.41

Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection by Etta James

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Whether she sings string-laden pop ballads, lively soul, or gritty electric blues, James's high-powered, enormously expressive voice displays a knack for passionate blues inflections. Emotionally charged ballads including "At Last" and "All I Could Do is Cry" find James blasting through the orchestra with unearthly wails and moans. "If I Can't Have You," a duet with Harvey Fuqua, drops the orchestra in favor of horn-driven R&B and "Something's Got a Hold On Me" is a gospel-flavored romp reminiscent of Ray Charles. A live version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" shows her raunchiest Chicago-blues style, and "In the Basement," with Sugar Pie DeSanto, is a funky workout. Also here are three classics from her soul-drenched 1967 Muscle Shoals sessions. --Marc Greilsamer

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Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers

Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers Lowest new price: $7.35
Lowest used price: $5.75
Model: 1984889

Sam Cooke was one of the most original and influential vocal stylists of all time. Hear him in all his glory (1951-1955) when he was singing with one of the greatest of all gospel groups-the Soul Stirrers. 25 tracks-several previously unissued.

While Sam Cooke certainly made beautiful music in the pop realm, his greatest sides were those made with the Soul Stirrers. When Cooke joined the group in 1950 at the age of 19, he'd already spent 4 years singing with the Highway Q.C.'s. The Soul Stirrers lead singer, R.H. Harris, who quit just before Cooke's arrival, had spent almost 25 years molding the group into gospel stardom through an innovative use of two lead singers matched with utmost energy and sophistication. Cooke initially sang in a style similar to Harris's, but soon took off into his own unearthly realm, writing spine-tingling songs like "Nearer to Thee," "Mean Old World," and the brilliant "Touch the Hem of His Garment," then singing them in his soaring, inimitable style with perfect control of phrasing and enunciation. This is an awesome collection, a record to listen to many, many times--to grow old with. Save it for those days when you need absolute proof that true grace does exist. --Mike McGonigal

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