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Fantastic Voyage (FVTD030)

Sylvester Weaver, Sam Butler, Bobby Leecan, Helen Humes, Bo Chatman, Amos Easton, Jack Kelly, Bob Campbell, Sam Montgomery, Walter Roland, Bull City Red, Rosetta Howard, Ollie Shepard, Gabriel Brown, Sleepy John Estes, Little Boy Fuller, Charlie Pickett, Jelly Jaw Short, Robert Hicks, Boy Green, Hank Kilroy, Ralph Willis, H-Bomb Ferguson, Country Paul, Margie Day, Larry Dale, Mr Bear, Big Connie, Hurricane Harry, Cousin Leroy, Tiny Kennedy, Square Walton and many many more.

This is the third in the series and those of you who have bought the other two - Chicago (FVTD012) and Memphis (FVTD022) will know about the abundance of riches that these box sets hold.

Although New York was hardly known as a blues town, the record industry was big business and their studios attracted blues singers from all over the southern and eastern states so some of our most cherished pre-war recordings were made in the Big Apple. Hard to imagine, but blues masterpieces such as Memphis Minnie's When The Levee Breaks, Mississippi John Hurt's Candy Man Blues, Leadbelly's Packin' Trunk Blues and Blind Willie McTell's Warm It Up To Me were among the hundreds of legendary titles made for labels like Vocalion, OKeh, Columbia and Banner in New York.

Those tracks are all included in this 3CD set that spans 1923 to 1957 but you know you can trust compiler Neil Slaven to introduce delicious obscurities into the mix so it's somewhat of a thrill to hear stuff like Helen Humes' Cross Eyed Blues, Sam Collins Slow Mama Slow, Sam Montgomery's Mercy Mercy Blues and Bob Campbell's Starvation Farm Blues.

The 40s and 50s are represented by superb country blues artists like Gabriel Brown and Ralph Willis. We get uptown acoustic boogie from Country Paul, raucous boogie bawling from the imaginatively named Duke Bayou and His Mystic Six, early R&B shouting from the likes of Grant Jones and Big Connie, inspired lunacy from Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Hurricane Harry, late nite blues crooners from Danny ‘Run Joe' Taylor and big guitar killers from Square Walton, Larry Dale and the fabulous Cousin Leroy whose Waitin' At The Station is an absolute corker!

It's yet another excellent compilation of tough blues that hits the spot and I can't wait for the next volume so please keep ‘em coming!

Review Date: November 2009

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