The Best of the Blues from 20's and 30's
David L Hutchins | Mesa, AZ | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are two tradegies concerning Blind Blake. The first is that so little is known about his life, even though his work was of great importance. There is only one known photograph of him. Both his birth and date of death are unknown for certain. He recorded around 80 tracks for Paramount Records and his records sold well. In spite of that, even his real name is in question. It might have been Arthur Phelps, although most biographers maintain that it was Arthur Blake and he was known for quite some time as Blind Arthur Blake. The second tradegy is we don't have better quality recordings of his work. The ones on this album aren't terrible; they are listenable. It probably was the best available. Given the technology of the time, it's probably remarkable that we have recordings as good as this that were recorded 80 to 90 years ago. Unfortunately there is a lot of noise, worse on some tracks than others. Still it seems that the quality is better than what I have heard on some of the Blind Lemon Jefferson recordings. Lemon Jefferson was, of course, another important blind black artist of the same era. Sometimes "historically important" music such as this is just not that enjoyable to listen to, but that's not the case here. This is very enjoyable and listenable, even if you aren't a big blues fan. Buy it before it disappears forever. It's worth having in anyone's collection. 5 stars for the music; 3 for the sound quality."
Ian Gray | Seattle, WA USA | 08/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blind Blake's guitar style has been very influencial in the history of the blues and this album has many of his best tracks on it. It is certainly easier to listen to than the old vinyl release. I guess that noise reduction stuff works to some extent. I know that the master recordings were lost long ago and this was taken from production 78's. So with that in mind, the sound quality is probably as good as it's going to get. The music is just simply fabulous!"