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Various Artists: The Ultimate Blues Collection

[cover art]

Expertly compiled right here in Canada, this set most definitely deserves your consideration. It's in Warner's Ultimate series, which has three Soul volumes, so perhaps we can treat the "ultimate" tag as a marketing device. It is, however, an exceptional 2-CD survey of modern blues, not restricted to the Warner catalogue and except for the presence of only one woman is a far better sampling than many others I could list. There are two Canadian bands per disc: the stomping "Mannish Boy" by Muddy with The Band from The Last Waltz and Colin's James and Linden with "Fixin' To Die" from the great acoustic blues CD of that name on disc one. Downchild with "Almost" and King Biscuit Boy with his marvelous "Step Back Baby" from the aka Richard Newell Stony Plain album that has yet to make it to CD round out disc two. There are other gems here as well: "Ray's Blues" from Ray Charles early days on Atlantic, Ry Cooder's version of Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark is the Night" from his first solo album and Otis Rush's "Gambler's Blues" from Mourning in the Morning to mention but three. It would take a comprehensive collection indeed to rationalize away acquiring this one.
--John Valenteyn , Toronto Blues Society


  1. Thrill Is Gone -- King, B.B.
  2. Mannish Boy -- Band (w/Waters, Muddy)
  3. Cold Shot -- Vaughan, Stevie Ray
  4. Aint Superstitious -- Howlin Wolf
  5. She Caught The Katy And Left Me -- Mahal, Taj
  6. Fixin To Die -- James, Colin
  7. Rays Blues -- Charles, Ray
  8. Messin w/t Kid -- Guy, Buddy/Wells, Junior
  9. Blue Jean Blues -- ZZ Top
  10. Shake For Me -- Hammond, John
  11. Every Morning -- Keb Mo
  12. Gamblers Blues -- Rush, Otis
  13. Bring It On Home To Me -- Terry, Sonny/McGhee, Brownie
  14. Shake Your Moneymaker -- Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  15. Dont Start Me Talkin -- Williamson, Sonny Boy
  16. Wang Dang Doodle -- Taylor, Koko
  17. John The Revelator -- House, Son
  18. Boom Boom -- Hooker, John Lee
  19. Dallas -- Winter, Johnny
  20. My Babe -- Little Walter
  21. Spider And The Fly -- Shepherd, Kenny Wayne (w/Cotton, James)
  22. Crosscut Saw -- King, Albert
  23. Bright Lights Big City -- Reed, Jimmy
  24. Back Door Man -- Dixon, Willie
  25. TV Mama -- Turner, Big Joe
  26. (I Get Everything I Need) Almost -- Downchild Blues Band
  27. Blue Monday Hangover -- Collins, Albert
  28. T-Bone Shuffle -- Guy, Buddy
  29. Stormy Monday -- Walker, T-Bone
  30. Step Back Baby -- King Biscuit Boy
  31. Dust My Broom -- James, Elmore
  32. Dark Is The Night -- Cooder, Ry

Various Artists - The Ultimate Blues Collection - 2004 - Warner WTVD60760

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