Various Desperate Man Blues

Joe Bussard remains one of the unsung heroes of music due to his obsession with rare pre-war blues and country records; he has single-handedly preserved a vast swath of culture that would have otherwise vanished. However, his legend has grown as his discoveries have reached more ears, to the point where his story has finally been told in an award-winning documentary. This companion compilation essentially amounts to what many old time music fans have long been curious about: Bussard’s all-time favourite songs from his vast collection. Not surprisingly, they’re all incredible and sound in better condition than some other available versions. Split almost evenly between blues and country, there are essential tracks by Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House and Blind Willie McTell, along with the Carter Family, Clarence Ashley, Uncle Dave Macon, and Floyd Ming & His Pep Steppers’ original "Indian War Whoop,” later covered for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. But for those already familiar with this material, there are new treasures as well, amongst them Jimmy Murphy’s "We Live A Long Time To Get Old,” which Bussard describes in his notes as "the last country record made in Trashville... I mean Nashville,” and Gitfiddle Jim’s frantic slide guitar masterpiece "Paddlin’ Madeline Blues,” which Bussard says was in a box of records he purchased for five dollars. Long may he rummage. (Dust-to-Digital)