Starkly printed in black and white with washed-out, grainy photographs, this is one heavy slab of blues by a player who is not as well-known as he should be. Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was usually overshadowed by the leaders he worked for, Muddy Waters particularly. He was also sometimes confused with the hillbilly singer Jimmie Rodgers, and although they might have sounded good together, they don't have anything in common. This reissue collection grabs 14 tracks done at various times in the mostly early '50s which involve practically a who's who of performers associated with the most intense and driving Chicago blues. This includes the aforementioned Waters, leaving behind his role as leader for a few numbers to add some stinging guitar parts. There is also a pair of harmonica players, each of whom could melt vinyl siding with their playing. These are the Walters, big and little, as in Big Walter Horton and Little Walter. Pianist Otis Spann, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Fred Belew are also on hand, meaning the rhythm section action is first class.
One of country music s most eclectic heroes, Marty Robbins celebrated an extraordinary career as one of the genre s leading crossover artists. Spending more than 30 years in the music business, Robbins routinely refused to conform to contemporary trends, branching out into pop, rockabilly, Hawaiian, calypso and gospel music, all underlined by his trademark Southern twang. In addition to being a skilled player and performer, Robbins was also a magnificent songwriter, penning many of his best-known hits. He also undertook numerous ventures outside of music during his lifetime, appearing in films and even occasionally participating in NASCAR races. However, it is his music for which he is most fondly remembered, and Robbins retains his reputation as one of the finest ever country musicians and performers. This collection, presented across four discs and running in excess of five hours, collates the entirety of Marty Robbins output between 1952 and 1960, and in so doing, provides not only the perfect introduction to this country giant, but acts too as a welcome reminder for those already well-versed in Marty Robbins incredible work.