The Blues Kingpin Series is an exciting project which features an abundance of recordings that have been vaulted since 1952. Each "Best Of" disc features rare recordings from some of the most influential blues men ever; B.B. King, Elmore James, Lightin' Hopkins, Ike Turner, Fats Domino, and John Lee Hooker. The reissues were produced and annotated by noted blues journalist/author Bill Dahl. A portion of the profits from the series will be donated to the Blues Foundation (http://www.blues.org), a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Memphis serving as the organization for the worldwide resurgence in blues music.
Even with the ambitious remastering efforts, these recordings remain pure and raw. Despite the dated production value of the majority of these discs, the music speaks volumes about the blues and early rock and roll. You are literally listening to history as a very young Riley King sings 'Everyday I Get The Blues', 'Sweet Little Angel' or 'Woke Up This Morning'.
John Lee Hooker is perhaps one of the most imitated blues artists ever. Some of the gems featured on John Lee collection are 'Sally May', 'Hobo Blues', 'I Tried So Hard' as well as early recordings of some of his best known songs.
Elmore James died at age 45 but left us with a body of work which has been influential in many careers including Eric Clapton and Duane Allman and is still be reexamined by young slide players today. In addition to his signature song 'Dust My Broom', James also recorded other Robert Johnson tunes including 'Standing At The Crossroads'.
Before he met Tina, Ike Turner was blazing a trail of his own as an innovator of rock and roll. As a guitarist, he had nasty tone, and was one of the first to make the whammy bar an integral part of his sound. While he was in relative obscurity until he met Anna Mae Bullock in 1956, it was pre-Tina that would set the stage for what was to come. This compilation finds a young Ike playing and yes, singing the blues.
Unquestionably one of the true innovators of modern delta blues, Lightin' Hopkins was a remarkable musician whose riffs translated just as well on acoustic as on electric guitar.
With a vast catalogue of compilations as well as original recordings, the task of compiling a unique set would be a daunting task. However, since much of these recordings has been collecting dust for the past 50 plus years, even the most astute blues connoisseurs will thrilled by rare versions of 'Feel So Bad', 'Shotgun Blues' or 'Black Cat'.
Fats Domino will always be remembered best by his hit 'Blueberry Hill' but before he found success on mainstream AM radio, he was a totally distinctive blues musician. His relaxed and rolling boogie-woogie style of tickling the ivories was born out of New Orleans R&B. While his style remained unvaried, it gave the big man a signature sound which has yet to be successfully mimicked. Before the national hits, Fats was achieving success on the R&B charts. This set captures Antoine Domino in the infant stage of his career. What came next is a part of rock and roll history.
In the Year of the Blues, many compilations have been springing up in honor of this purely American roots music. However, the Blues Kingpins set is by far the most exciting one so far. This 6 volume set is a must have for all serious blues fans.
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