Here's a wonderful collection, the first volume in what is promising to be a great and ambitious new series chronicling the history of Soul music. In an effort to tell the whole story, this set goes way, way back to some of the earliest blues and spiritual recordings ever released and then takes you all the way up to 1940s and 1950s recordings by the likes of Roy Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and Percy Mayfield. Some examples of truly rare early gems featured here that get to the heart of the story are "Honey In The Rock" by Blind Mamie Forehand, "Denomination Blues Part 1" by Washington Phillips, "Judgment" by Sister Mary Nelson, and "Dough Roller Blues" by Garfield Akers; tracks like these really do transport you to a different time and place, and are such a delight to hear. You get truly sublime Gospel like "Them Bones" by Mitchells Christian Singers, down and dirty blues like "In My Girlish Days" by Memphis Minnie, and tracks that seem to walk the line between Saturday night and Sunday morning like "Cross And Evil Woman Blues" by Reverend Gary Davis. All of this great music is accompanied by some wonderfully extensive liner notes, full of great photos, label reproductions, and much more.