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Saga Blues: The West Coast Years 1954-1958

B.B. King

Blues - Released October 27, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: The Young Lions "Chicago Blues Guitar Heroes"

Various Artists

Blues - Released October 27, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Natural Born Lover 1954-1958

Muddy Waters

Blues - Released October 27, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Black Rockers "The Real Pioneers of Rock'n'Roll"

Various Artists

Blues - Released October 27, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: From Detroit to Chicago 1954-1958

John Lee Hooker

Blues - Released October 27, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Slide My Blues

Elmore James

Blues - Released June 30, 2005 | Saga

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Saga Blues: Moanin' the Blues

Howlin' Wolf

Blues - Released August 23, 2004 | Saga

Booklet
Chester Burnett was a bear of a man, but his voice, rough and harsh as broken Delta glass, was what really gave him dimension. A powerful blues shouter out of the Charley Patton mold, Burnett (or Howlin' Wolf, as he came to be known) brought a feral fire to his vocals that made him sound like a gale-force hurricane in front of the microphone. But he was far from a loose cannon. He had remarkable control over that voice, and it shows in this selection, although it is a wee bit on the random side. The various collections of his 1950sChess material (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the slightly earlier Sun material) are still the way to go for listeners who truly want to hear this force of nature at his best. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Saga Blues: I'm a Soul Man "Original Soul Brothers"

Various Artists

Blues - Released August 17, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Harlem Troubadours

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Blues - Released October 24, 2005 | Saga

Booklet
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee made their first recording together in 1941, and became the longest-running blues duo in memory, stringing out nearly 40 years of recordings and gigs until their gradually emerging distaste for each other finally proved insurmountable and brought an end to the musical partnership. Driven by Terry's trademark high-pitched and whooping harmonica and McGhee's solid, steady acoustic guitar playing, the pair updated their traditional blues material just enough to earn steady gigs on the college and coffeehouse circuit, and if they had a tendency to knock off most of the rough edges in the songs they did, enough of the Piedmont tradition remained to make them valuable keepers of the flame. This set shows a glimpse of the earlier, rougher-edged version of the duo, and wisely sets the stage by opening with six of Terry's old 78s, including the wild field holler "Harmonica Stomp" from 1940, then follows it with six of McGhee's 78s from the same time period, before finishing the set off with a dozen tracks of the two musicians together recorded between 1944 and 1952. The end result neatly sketches out the early years, and in this case, perhaps the most vital years, of the duo's long association. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Saga Blues: Voodoo Blues "Hoodoo & Magical Practices"

Various Artists

Blues - Released August 17, 2009 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Cool Blues Singer

Charles Brown

Blues - Released June 30, 2005 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Blowing With a Feeling

Little Walter

Blues - Released June 30, 2005 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Blues From the Motor City

John Lee Hooker

Blues - Released August 23, 2004 | Saga

Booklet
This collection centers on the prolific John Lee Hooker's recordings for Bernie Besman at United Sound Studios in Detroit between 1948 and 1952 (these were leased to Modern Records in Los Angeles, although Besman did release some of them on his own Sensation Records imprint). There are countless compilations of Hooker material on the market, issued by a variety of labels under assorted different titles, but you really can't go wrong with this guy -- he always delivered what he was supposed to deliver with no frills and no fuss. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Saga Blues: The Godfather of Chicago Blues

Big Bill Broonzy

Blues - Released March 7, 2005 | Saga

Booklet
Big Bill Broonzy was viewed as a beloved country blues player when he died in 1958, a master of raw and authentic-sounding folk-blues. But this public image, although Broonzy worked hard to maintain it in his later years, does him a bit of a disservice. He was much more than a rustic relic, however well he played the part. Broonzy was an excellent and even sophisticated guitarist, starting out in the '30s as a rag and hokum player, but he was versatile enough to work with jazz and R&B combos, too, and his guitar approach was instrumental in the early formation of the Chicago blues sound. He was also a crafty songwriter who managed to write blues pieces that bridged the line between traditional blues themes and modern structure. This 22-track collection combines two earlier collections, Bronzeville Poet and Blues News, into a single well-paced and fluid sequence. Not everything essential is here, but key tracks like "I Can't Be Satisfied" and "Mississippi River Blues" are included, although his signature "Key to the Highway" is strangely absent. It's still a nice set. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Saga Blues: From Gospel to Soul "When the Church Hits the Charts"

Various Artists

Blues - Released August 24, 2008 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: Swinging the Blues

T-Bone Walker

Blues - Released March 7, 2005 | Saga

Booklet
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Saga Blues: The Birth of a King

B.B. King

Blues - Released August 21, 2004 | Saga

Booklet
Simply put, this is a killer 22-track compilation of early -- as in from the beginning -- sides by B.B. King, first as he developed as a quintessential blues shouter, and second and more famously as a guitarist. These tracks are compiled from masters dating between 1949 and 1953, when the great one was a youngster and beginning to cut singles for Regal. His strong vocal style -- derived from Big Joe Turner but more melodic and bright -- captured jukeboxes first across the American South and later across the nation. But by 1950 and 1951, King's guitar was singing as loudly as his voice and became his true and much more recognizable forum for expression. These sides offer a well-rounded portrait by turns: the vocalist is showcased on the first half and the guitar player on the second. That said, no single cut is more enjoyable than another and virtually all are winners, including a sampling of both A- and B-sides from this early period. If you have no early B.B. King in your collection, this is a great place to start. The sound quality is good to great, and the price point is very attractive and proper, even though voluminous annotation is not provided. © Thom Jurek /TiVo