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Charley Patton: Screamin’ and Hollerin’ the Blues

This remarkable box set was a dream project of the late Revenant label founder John Fahey. The seven CDs feature Patton’s complete recordings for Paramount. Also included is a reprint of Fahey’s 1970 book on Patton, along with new notes and lyric transcriptions by Fahey and other blues scholars. Aside from the recordings which highlight Patton’s hoarse, impassioned singing style (a clear precursor to Howlin’ Wolf’s gravelly rasp) and remarkably fluid slide-guitar work and syncopated fingerstyle playing, the seventh CD of this exhaustive effort features interviews about Patton with Pops Staples, Howlin’ Wolf and Patton protege Booker Miller. Other visual treats in this great package include full-size reproductions of the six Paramount ads which ran in the Chicago Defender for Patton’s 1929 records and a full set of 78 label stickers from all of Patton’s Paramount and Vocalion releases. A treasure trove for Delta blues enthusiasts.

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