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Various Artists: Southern Country Blues, Vol. 1: Down in Boogie Alley

Southern Country Blues, Vol. 1: Down in Boogie Alley (Star Sounds)-this collection of historic recordings focuses on regionalism in the early stages of the blues. Drawn from the vast archives of Document Records, these three CDs dig well beneath the surface of country blues, uncovering some real obscure gems from yesteryear. While CD one (Memphis & The Mississippi Delta) contains such familiar names as Robert Johnson, Son House and Charley Patton, it also includes tracks by such lesser known though no less profound exponents as Bo Carter, Frank Stokes and Jim Jackson. CD two (Alabama & The Eastern States) covers the likes of Tampa Red, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Gary Davis and Blind Blake. CD three (South & The Mid-Western States) takes in bluesmen like Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson and more obscure troubadours like Louisiana’s Amede Ardoin, Arkansas’ Buddy Boy Hawkins and the Texas one-hit wonder J.T. “Funny Paper” Smith. With an in-depth 20-page booklet, this box is a scholarly approach to an indigenous American artform.

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