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The earliest song in this collection is Magic Sam’s "I Need You So Bad," recorded July 12, 1967, and the most recent is Little Arthur Duncan’s "Singin’ With The Sun," recorded February 16, 1999. Aside from small sonic improvements in the past 30 years, the sound and quality of the recordings have retained that rough honesty of the early years of urban blues recording. The artists that took Muddy Waters to his logical conclusion are present. Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and Luther Allison all perfected the blues lead guitar at ground zero of the urban scene. All of this is in evidence. Certainly the album centerpiece is Jimmy Dawkins' blistering take on Kenny Burrell’s jazz classic, "Chitlins Con Carne."
This collection, like the other Delmark collections celebrating the independent label’s Golden Anniversary, offers a beautifully sharp black and white photograph of the evolution of the urban blues.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.