A retrospective of pre-rock'n'roll Americana across three CDs

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Various Artists – The Roots Of Rockabilly 1940-1953—Rompin’ And Stompin’

A wild blend of country & western and early rhythm’n’blues, rockabilly’s sparse instrumentation (twangy electric guitars, slap-bass and thumping beats), primal energy and sexually implicit contents made rock’n’roll acceptable to white audiences. While the year of its birth is usually thought to be 1954, the year of Presley’s first sessions for the Sun label, the genre was already beginning to emerge as early as 1940, fuelled by the post-war explosion of electrified musical instruments and independent record labels. Tracing rockabilly’s evolution, through country & western, bluegrass, western swing, hillbilly boogie and downhome blues, and featuring the likes of Chet Atkins, Bill Monroe, Arthur Smith, as well as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, this collection makes both educative and riotous listening.