On this excellent release from the World Music Network's ever-reliable Rough Guide series, a host of unknown early blues artists get their due. While Robert Johnson, Son House, and a handful of other greats from the 1920s and '30s have become widely recognized icons of the pre-war blues era, so many lesser-known, though no less talented, players have slipped through the cracks. Opening with Henry Thomas' spirited "Fishing Blues" (complete with a pan flute solo), The Rough Guide to Unsung Heroes of Country Blues winds its way through a series of wonderful and obscure country-blues gems.
In late February 1653, just after the Fronde rebellion, the most influential spectacle of the early reign of Louis XIV was created at the Louvre: the Ballet Royal de la Nuit. Grandiose, and carefully elaborated at the highest levels of the state, the libretto by Bensérade called upon the finest artists of the time. Banishing the troubles of Night, Louis XIV danced in the Sun King costume that would henceforth be for ever associated with him. An indispensable world premiere recording!
There are few composers who have vanished from music history to the extent of Johann Abraham Schmierer. We know very little about this composer’s origins, education, career and life journey. Some listeners, during or after hearing this recording, may well wonder why this music – despite its undeniable qualities and relatively early publication (already in 1902 in the tenth volume of Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst) – has not been recorded earlier. One reason is surely the fragmentary character of the collection, for six suites are obviously missing.
This special collector's edition contains 29 remastered recordings by Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, consisting of a selection of the magnicent early sides released between 1947 and 1960 on the Peacock and Aladdin record labels. Several of his most famous songs and enduring singles are featured on this quintessential CD, including “Dirty Work at the Crossroads,” “Midnight Hour,” “Just Before Dawn,” and “Okie Dokie Stomp,” among others. It is truly an indispensable set for any blues and R&B devotee.