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Two-disc, 55-track compilation of material from the first half of the 1950s. This is blues in the transition from the country to the city, and indeed, much of the first disc lacks a rhythm section, although electric guitar is present. Jackson actually sounds considerably more comfortable when working in a Lightnin' Hopkins mode. In fact, the sides with full accompaniment sometimes sound like the band is uncomfortable with band arrangements. On some sides, the drummer seems to have his mind on another session; others boast tentative saxophone that borders on the haphazard. Jackson's subdued, countrified approach actually sounded a bit anachronistic even when these cuts were laid down, though the sloppiness does suit the atypical "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" knockoff "Get High Everybody." At any rate, it's acceptable but somewhat journeyman stuff with a lack of variation that gets tiresome over the course of several dozen tracks, although some of the band-less sides, like "Thrill Me Baby" (with dreamy slide guitar licks) and "Movin' to the Country," hit a very good groove.


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