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Various Artists: Downhome Country Blues Classics

Arhoolie has also issued a couple of noteworthy releases from its vaults. Downhome Urban Blues Classics (Arhoolie 102; 54:24) features classic early performances by the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Duskin, Earl Hooker, Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, Katie Webster, Charlie Musselwhite and others. An interesting item here for guitar fiends is one track by the Charles Ford Band featuring a youthful Robben Ford ripping it up in a 12-bar context. Downhome Country Blues Classics (Arhoolie 101; 47:39) covers classic performances by Delta legends like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightning Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Bukka White and R. L. Burnside. Both of these discs could be offered as the curriculum in a college course entitled: “Blues 101.”

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