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THE GEORGE MITCHELL COLLECTION VOLUMES 1-45 (7CD)

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Fat Possum (FP11142)

In 2007, Fat Possum issued 45 seven inch singles and extended plays containing odds and ends left over from the full length CDs of the Mitchell collection. Some tracks did appear on the full length CDs so there is a very small amount of duplication but for the most part, these are tracks you won't have heard. For those who don't know, George Mitchell was a blues enthusiast who spent 20 years of his life driving through the hill country of Mississippi, the deep pinewoods of Georgia, the hot dusty hamlets of Alabama and beyond to discover and document the work of bluesmen who were still hollerin' and screamin' the blues in the nineteen sixties, seventies and to a lesser extent, of course, the eighties! 

He found re-discovered legendary names like Big Joe Williams, Joe Callicott, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis, Houston Stackhouse and Will Shade.  Sleepy  John Estes made his first records since 1940 for Mitchell and Furry Lewis' got his guitar out of hock in 1962 to record the two tracks here. George found and recorded Fred McDowell in 1967, the same year Othar Turner introduced him to RL Burnside who had never been recorded before. These men were all recorded out in the fields, on back porches, way out on country picnics and house parties. I suppose the most exciting part of Mitchell's mission was the fact that he found and recorded dozens of undiscovered, hidden blues people who aside from the few cuts Mitchell made disappeared back into the woods and were never heard from again. Wonderful genuine blues musicans who kept the music alive all those years, just for themselves or their friends entertainment or just because it was a monster part of their own culture. People like John Lee Ziegler, Jim Bunkley, Abe McNeil, George Henry Bussey, James Davis, Eddie Hodge, Tiney Coney, Willie Rockomo, Robert Longstreet and Cecil Barfield were just a few of the inspired country blues musicians you'll find on this huge collection.

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Review Date: March 2011

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