This could not be better. If you know & love Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk, get this immediately. I know it's expensive but it's only money - and in this fantastic box is something more than money can buy - joy, love, inspiration, wonderful music from the American South - all the way from the 1920s to the 1950s. Speaking as a typical British fence-sitting agnostic, I couldn't honestly tell you if there is a God, but here's one thing I do know - belief in God made uneducated black and white people in the Southern states of America make some of the best, most exciting, soulful music I ever heard. You may be familiar with several names here - Skip James, Uncle Dave Macon, Mahalia Jackson, Golden Gate Quartet - but others are totally obscure Mother McColum, Dorothy Melton, the Tennessee Music and Printing Company Quartet (!!), oh, and something called "The Black Camel of Death" by the Rev J M Milton - are just as good. So this is 6 cds of rocking, rolling, ranting, raving, shouting, testifying, sermonising, hollering and praising, plus a wonderful fat booklet, and filling up the empty sections each side of the cds are cotton balls, with seeds. The final note in the booklet tells us "This set is dedicated to all the artists who wanted their message to be heard. The cotton is a reminder of the struggle, strife and sorrow that so many of them endured." The compiler of the whole astonishing thing is Steven Lance Ledbetter, of whom I know absolutely nothing, except that he's the Harry Smith of his generation. On Disc Three Washington Phillips asks the question "What are they doing in Heaven Today?" Might have been a head-scratcher in 1929 but in 2004 we know the answer - cranking up the volume and playing this lot loud.