Various Artists – Century Of The Blues

The blues continues to pour down in reissues, compilations and box sets. Century Of The Blues is superbly assembled to commemorate the centenary of the day in 1903 when WC Handy encountered a "lean, loose-jointed negro" playing a guitar in the style he was the first to name "the blues". There's no attempt to claim the music as a contemporary art form, for the selection ends mid-century. Even BB King, the only name here who's still working, is represented by a 1950 recording.

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The blues continues to pour down in reissues, compilations and box sets. Century Of The Blues is superbly assembled to commemorate the centenary of the day in 1903 when WC Handy encountered a “lean, loose-jointed negro” playing a guitar in the style he was the first to name “the blues”. There’s no attempt to claim the music as a contemporary art form, for the selection ends mid-century. Even BB King, the only name here who’s still working, is represented by a 1950 recording. But as a primer in the roots of the blues, it really isn’t far behind the recent Scorsese five-CD set, which Uncut voted best compilation of 2003.

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