Davies' third album finds this artist moving in a much more "pop" direction, proving that she can both stretch her wings artistically and has far more to offer than merely recycled riffs and motifs filtered through a women's perspective. Her social consciousness raising quickly comes up for air on the opening track, "Howlin' At The Moon," one of only three Davies originals aboard this outing. But her interpretations of gospel pop ballad material like Lenny McDaniel's beautiful "Tired Angels," and duets with Coco Montoya on Albert Collins' title track and Tab Benoit on "Let The Heartaches Begin" are every bit as strong, her vocal skills showing more maturity and assuredness with each album. Her solo work is spot on, always paying homage to a wide variety of stylistic lessons well learned and solidly in the blues pocket with no added rock affectations to bog it down. But tracks like "Homework" (not the Otis Rush classic) make it clear that this is Debbie Davies being mainstreamed into Bonnie Raitt territory and she doesn't sound uncomfortable there at all, making this a most ambitious effort.
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.