Various Dr. Boogie Presents Bear Traces: Nuggets From Bob's Barn

The previous instalment of this series was one of the great finds for any fan of classic R&B, compiling rare records rescued from the immense collection of late Canned Heat frontman Bob "the Bear" Hite. The 31 tracks on Bear Traces are another priceless glimpse into the era just prior to the arrival of rock'n'roll, uncovering still more long-forgotten names. Although some static is present, owing to the original 78-rpm records being transferred with minimal mastering, none of the energy present in the grooves is lost, and in fact makes the listening experience even more authentic. Every track has something to recommend, but real treats for casual blues fans will be hearing a young Lightnin' Hopkins in all his glory on "Move On Out Boogie" and Wynonie Harris belt out "Greyhound," which almost sounds like a blueprint for Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train." According to the notes by compiler Dr. Boogie, there won't be any further albums in this series, so grab this one while you can. (Sub Rosa/Forced Exposure)