Down Home Blues - Chicago Volume 2: Sweet Home Chicago.

Down Home Blues - Chicago Vol. 2. 5 CDs, rare photographs and a superb booklet.

Down Home Blues - Chicago Vol. 2. 5 CDs, rare photographs and a superb booklet.

Down Home Blues
Chicago Volume 2
Sweet Home Chicago
(Wienerworld)

9/10.

By Paul Davies.

For many connoisseurs of the blues, the golden period of this genre lay in the recordings made in the ‘Windy City’ of Chicago between the 1940s and early 1960s.

Curated over 5 CDs, this completist, forensically researched and consummately collected compilation exhausts and excites in equal measure and then some.

Plucked from head-man Peter Moody’s extensive private collection, many of these recordings are previously unavailable and includes a slew of alternate takes of popular recordings.

Imagine the cream of historical blues players playing their choicest and rarest cuts to you in your own room. Well, this audio bible of the blues overflows with Chicago’s finest: Elmore James, Howling Wolf, Jimmy Rogers, Albert King to the slightly lesser-known. Not forgetting early waxings from notable artists such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

There is even a 94-page book including an immersive essay by the blues historian Mike Rowe, rare photographs and full sessionography.

Rarely does a thoroughly detailed and definitively collected set of recordings from a seminal period in music come along. This is a treasure trove of tunes for aficionados and a stellar introduction to the Chicago blues for the novice alike.

Paul Davies