Poor recordings, bought it for the one track '' Can't Be satisfied'' very disappointed at the quality of recording. If that's the sound Leroy was going for, would have done better recording it in a garden shed. Not happy, go back and remaster the cd and up the production. Vexed.
I am no expert in the art of country blues and am not really qualified to comment on whether this compilation represents a true "best of". What I do know is that I already have a double cd of his titled "Where the blues began" and I particularly liked the jazzy tracks which lead me directly on to this cd.
The tracks on this cd cover the period 1928 - 1941 and the majority were recorded in Chicago. So they predate the so called blues hunters who poured into the Deep South trying to record what they perceived to be authentic black American folk songs sung by authentic and aged black American folk singers. This cd is the authentic sound of a musician earning his keep playing the music his audience wanted to hear.
There is a superb range of styles including straight forward country blues, some great jazzy tracks which sound as though they have come straight out of New Orleans, some great ragtime and even some honky tonk.
So if you like your "country blues" with a bit of oomph and some great rifts with Big Bill ably supported by a small group of backing musicians this represents excellent value.
This is the only Broonzy album I own, and I can't help thinking there must be better stuff out there. I had previously only heard him playing solo, and I personally think this is where he really shines. On these recordings he tends to sound a little swamped by the band format. He sounds overly conventional, and one can't help wondering how much commercial pressure there was on these recordings. I'm not saying they're bad by any means, there of listenable quality and pleasant enough, but there really is little to distinguish them from many early city blues recording, and I've heard Big Bill sound so much better