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Alan Lomax: Blues Songbook

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Audio CD, September 30, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

After the floodgates opened due to 2003’s Martin Scorsese-produced PBS series of blues films, most labels scoured their vaults to nab a piece of the action. Dozens of reissues and repackagings hit the shelves, but Rounder, who has released classic blues for decades, eclipsed the field with this wonderful double-disc set.

Comprised of field recordings made by John and Alan Lomax from 1935-’78, the scope alone of this album is formidable. Many of the acts are obscure even to blues aficionados, yet icons like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Blind Willie McTell, Son House, Leadbelly, and Mississippi Fred McDowell are peppered throughout the nearly 2 1/2 hour playing time. Although the audio quality varies from excellent to primitive, the astounding remastering makes it all listenable. This is raw, pure, spine-tingling music played with the intense nothing-left-to-lose passion of ordinary people whose impossibly difficult lives are exposed in their voices and performances.

Chilling, mysterious, and even playful--sometimes simultaneously--this collection with 40 pages of detailed history, informative track-by-track notes, and forays into Cajun and spiritual side roads is most recommended to established blues fans wishing to further explore the roots of the genre. --Hal Horowitz

Disc: 1
1. Goin' Down The River - Mississippi Fred McDowell
2. Rolled And Tumbled - Rosalie Hill
3. Cherry Ball Blues - Jack Owens
4. Dust My Broom - Howlin' Wolf
5. Boogie Children - Joe Lee
6. Stagolee - Lucious Curtis
7. Stop All The Buses - Cecil Augusta
8. Worried Life Blues - David 'Honeyboy' Edwards
9. The Pony Blues - Son House
10. Tangle Eye Blues - Walter 'Tangle Eye' Jackson
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I Could Hear My Name A Ringin' - Big Bill Broonzy
2. Dimples In Your Jaws - Joe Lee
3. Catfish Blues - Jack Owens
4. Kill-It-Kid Rag - Blind Willie McTell
5. You're Gonna Need My Help - Elinor Boyer
6. The Army Blues - David 'Honeyboy' Edwards
7. Blues De La Prison - Canray Fontenot
8. I Been Drinnkin' - Vera Ward Hall
9. I Been A Bad, Bad Girl - Ozella Jones
10. I Be's Troubled - Muddy Waters
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rounder Select
  • ASIN: B0000C9JDA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,437 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Rosalie Hill: Rolled and Tumbled (1959)


Musicologist, writer, and producer Alan Lomax (b. Austin, Texas, 1915) spent over six decades working to promote knowledge and appreciation of the world’s folk music. He began his career in 1933 alongside his father, the pioneering folklorist John Avery Lomax, author of the best-selling Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910). In 1934, the two launched an effort to expand the ... Read more in Amazon's Alan Lomax Store

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for 64 albums, 13 photos, 6 videos, and 5 full streaming songs.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By moonshiner on March 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best blues collections out there! And sound quality really is fine!! Get it!
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Robson on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure what happened or if it is just my cd, but the sound quality isn't even close to that of some of my oldest records...really sad too because the collection is great.
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