CD Review: Got the Blues

Got the Blues

Got the Blues - Credit: Archant

(Universal Music)

Time was, ardent blues fans would have headed down to the nearest crossroads and sold their souls to the Devil for a collection this good. And it would be worth it.

Back in the day, the idea of being able to pick up a compendium of tunes covering the entire history of blues would have seemed like something out of a fever dream, and the best you could hope for was getting your hands on enough records to own the lion’s share of these tracks. Oh how spoilt we have become, with the ability to download, stream and yes, still purchase CDs of this momentous music.

In a way, these songs represent the spirit of America, snatched from the dust bowl of the Depression, carved on the porches of the Cotton Belt, shaped in the fields of Alabama and the depths of the Louisiana bayou.

There’s an emotional resonance to these pieces, souls laid bare by the writers, feelings presented with no filter, on show to the world. If you don’t have the blues when you start listening, there’s every chance you will have by the time you get to the end of these four discs.

The legacy of this music on the careers of later artists should also be acknowledged, with the likes of Keith Richards and Eric Clapton admitting being influenced by standards like Mannish Boy and Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues.