Blues recordings began in 1920 with Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues”. For the next three years blues records would invariable follow the formula of having a female vocalist backed with a jazz band and became known as the “Classic Blues”. Then came along Sylvester Weaver who, it has been said, became the first “Guitar Hero”, a male blues singer, recorded playing his own guitar. It would be another three years before the first major commercial success would be experienced by another blues guitarist, the great Blind Lemon Jefferson from Texas. This collection brings together real blues; blues about being unhappy, dissatisfied or grief-ridden and, if possible, dealing with it. You won’t find ‘It’s Tight Like That’ or ‘Who Pumped The Wind In My Doughnut’ on this set – just front rank ‘deep’ blues on which each of the singers is predominantly supported by a guitar, played by either themselves or another, as an integral and essential part of the performance. The result is that blending of lyrical intensity and sympathetic instrumental work that is the soul of the blues.