As a label, Blue Note has been changing its focus, drifting closer and closer to mainstream pop material – not that there's anything wrong with this, but it is a bit of a shock that the name label in jazz since 1939 is looking for hits with Elisabeth Withers and a third Norah Jones offering. That said, the Metro Blue imprint of the label is as adventurous as ever, and the self-titled offering from the Bird and the Bee is about as eclectic as it gets. The Bird and the Bee are vocalist and songwriter Inara George (for music historians, she is the daughter of the late Little Feat singer, guitarist, and songwriter Lowell George) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Greg Kurstin.
Waters' The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues, combined here onto one CD, were not exactly random collections of tracks – the quality was too consistently high for them to just have been picked out of a hat. Still, it was a pretty arbitrary grouping of items that he recorded between 1947 and 1964. In fact, they hail from throughout his whole stint at Chess, virtually; at the time these albums were first issued, though, all of the material on More Real Folk Blues was from the late '40s and early '50s. They didn't exactly concentrate on his most well-known songs, but they didn't entirely neglect them either, including "Mannish Boy," "Walking Thru the Park," "The Same Thing," "Rollin' & Tumblin' Part One," "She's Alright," and "Honey Bee," amongst somewhat more obscure selections. So ultimately, this disc's usefulness depends on your fussiness as a collector – if it's the only Waters you ever pick up, you'll still have a good idea of his greatness, and if you don't mind getting some tracks you might already have on more avowedly best-of sets, you'll probably hear some stuff you don't already have in your collection.