I picked this 4 CD set up a couple of weeks ago, and courtesy of some long drives, have had the opportunity to listen through twice. While not strictly Country Blues, they are definitely 'Country' and I count about ten song titles with 'Blues' in them. I picked the set up at A&B Sound, and with my discount, paid about $26 CDN for a total of 87 tracks - presented in chrono order. I have enjoyed Jorma's 'Blue Country Heart' album on Sony Legacy, and several of the tunes he covers are presented here in original form. Some of the high-lites for me included:
1. Great guitar duet work played at a pretty good clip, with brothers Alton (guitar) and Rabon (tenor guitar - maybe played tuned as a tenor banjo?) switching back and forth with lead and rhthym duties (they also switch vocal parts, trading harmonies, perhpas even in the same song - must have been real showmen!);
2. Across the 4 CDs, listening to their sytle change and mature from gospel/traditional sounds to the beginiings of rockabillly;
3. Yodelling in harmony - not everyone's cup of tea, but it makes you sit up and take notice the first time you hear it!
4. Some great novelty tunes I had never hear before, including 'Smokey Mountain Bill and His Song' and 'Happy Hickey - The Hobo'; and
5. My favorite songs out of the bunch - 'Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar', 'Blue Railroad Train', and 'Singing My Troubles Away'.
From the unusually detailed liner notes, I was surprised to learn that The Delmores used to play with Uncle Dave Macon, and with Sam and Kirk McGhee, to supplement the pittance they were paid for a daily 15-minute slot on the WSM Opry broadcast.
The re-mastering has produced a very clean set of recordings - good vocal diction, and very clear guitar parts. Next I need to find a reasonably priced collection of their post-war King recordings. Any suggestions?
Other recent JSP releases that are on my radar include a Jimmie Rogers collection and an Uncle Dave Macon collection.