Every once in a while, a great blues anthology arrives on the scene. Blues Story
is one of them. While most serious blues collectors will already own much of this material, newcomers will find this compilation a great starting point.
The 2-CD set features 38 tracks by an equal number of artists. Starting with Mamie Smith’s 1920 recording of Crazy Blues
the Blues Story moves forward to include some of the most important blues recording in the history of the genre. Pioneer artists such as Charlie Patton, Son House, Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey offer their trademark songs. The R&B era is well represented by Louis Jordan, Little Milton and Ruth Brown. Other artists such as Bobby Blue Bland, Muddy Waters, Gatemouth Brown and John Lee Hooker were equally important to fans on both sides of the fence between blues and rock.
The Blues Story
concentrates on providing an insight into the blues world via songs and artists that "made a difference." Take a moment to glance through the track listings below and you’ll get the idea. The ample liner notes by Jim O’Neil, founding editor of Living Blues Magazine
are informative and interesting.
A matching DVD is also available from the CD producers. Interviews, performances and anecdotes feature dozens of blues entertainers. The DVD is an extended version of the broadcast aired on PBS. CDs and the DVD are available from the Shout Factory website. Browse the sound samples and decide for yourself. In my opinion, this set is a winner!