Various Artists - American Epic

5 CD set

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In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent. The recordings they made of all the ethnic groups of America democratized the nation and gave a voice to everyone. Country singers in the Appalachians, Blues guitarists in the Mississippi Delta, Gospel preachers across the south, Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana, Tejano groups from the Texas Mexico border, Native American drummers in Arizona, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coalminer in Virginia or a tobacco farmer in Tennessee could have their thoughts and feelings heard on records played in living rooms across the country. It was the first time America heard itself.

Virtually no documentation of these extraordinary events survives and nearly ninety percent of the recording masters have been destroyed. A vital part of American cultural history has been lost.

AMERICAN EPIC rescues this history. 

The Collection gathers 100 original recordings from the 1920s and 1930s in one five-disc set, restored to unprecedented levels of sonic fidelity.

For this box set, compiled by Director Bernard MacMahon, engineer Nicholas Bergh refined a transfer process using a mix of both modern and vintage equipment in order to extract the remarkable resolution from the records that is often missed.

This reverse engineering approach to the transfer process enabled the restoration team of Grammy Award-winning engineer Peter Henderson, Duke Erikson and Joel Tefteller to get the resulting audio closer to the original performance than ever before.

This is not "remastering," in the normal sense, but something closer to fine art restoration. The intent is not for people to marvel at the antiquity of these discs, but rather to experience them as vital, immediate performances that speak to us as directly as they did on the day they were recorded not simply great art for their time, but great art for all times.

It includes a 100-page book filled with stunning unpublished photographs, quotes from the artists, their friends and families, lyrics for every song, essays and recording notes.

Among the artists included are Mississippi John Hurt, The Carter Family, Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers, Lydia Mendoza, Nelstone's Hawaiians, Big Chief Henry's String Band, Robert Johnson and many others.


CD 1

  1. Clarence Ashley - The Coo Coo Bird (The Cuckoo)
  2. Memphis Jug Band - On the Road Again
  3. Bukka White - The Panama Limited
  4. Hoyt Ming and His Pep Steppers - Indian War Whoop
  5. Frank Stokes - 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do, Pt. 1
  6. Andrew & Jim Baxter - K. C. Railroad Blues
  7. Alfred G. Karnes - I Am Bound for the Promised Land
  8. Garfield Akers - Cottonfield Blues, Pt. 2
  9. Bascom Lamar Lunsford - I Wish I Was a Mole In the Ground
  10. Bentley Boys - Down On Penny's Farm
  11. Whistler's Jug Band - Foldin' Bed
  12. Weems String Band - Greenback Dollar
  13. Mattie Delaney - Tallahatchie River Blues
  14. Cannon's Jug Stompers - Walk Right In
  15. The Carter Family - Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow
  16. Jim Jackson - Old Dog Blue
  17. Columbus Fruge - Bayou Teche
  18. Tommy Johnson - Cool Drink of Water Blues
  19. J. P. Nestor - Train On the Island

CD 2

  1. Elder J.E. Burch - My Heart Keeps Singing
  2. Julius Daniels - Ninety-Nine Year Blues
  3. Earl Johnson and his Clodhoppers - I Get My Whiskey From Rockingham
  4. Rev. J. M. Gates - Death's Black Train Is Coming
  5. Jimmie Rodgers - Waiting for a Train
  6. Tenneva Ramblers - Darling, Where Have You Been So Long?
  7. Alabama Sacred Harp Singers - Rocky Road
  8. Amadie Breaux, Ophey Breaux & Cleoma Breaux - Ma Blond Est Partie
  9. Carolina Tar Heels - Peg and Awl
  10. Barbecue Bob - Chocolate to the Bone
  11. Eddie Head and Family - Down On Me
  12. Cleoma Breaux with Joseph Falcon and Ophy Breaux - Prenez Courage
  13. Dilly and his Dill Pickles - Pickin' Off Peanuts
  14. Nelstone's Hawaiians - Just Because
  15. Willie Walker - Dupree Blues
  16. Burnett & Rutherford - Ladies On the Steamboat
  17. Blind Willie McTell - Mamma, 'Tain't Long Fo' Day

CD 3

  1. Cuarteto Flores - Cecilia
  2. Los Borinquenos - La Coquetera
  3. Guty Cárdenas Y Lencho - Coconito
  4. Emmett Miller - Lovesick Blues
  5. Big Bill Broonzy - Long Tall Mama
  6. Two Poor Boys - John Henry Blues
  7. Lead Belly - Mr. Tom Hughes' Town
  8. Mississippi John Hurt - Louis Collins
  9. Blind Gary Davis - I Am The Light of the World
  10. Rev. F.W. McGee - Fifty Miles of Elbow Room
  11. Hopi Indian Chanters - Chant of the Eagle Dance
  12. Mike Hanapi & The Ilima Islanders - Hilo Hula
  13. Charlie Poole - If The River Was Whiskey
  14. Frank Hutchison - Stackalee
  15. Ernest Stoneman - The Wreck of the '97
  16. Buell Kazee - Faded Coat of Blue
  17. Dock Boggs - Country Blues
  18. Uncle Dave Macon and His Fruit-Jar Drinkers - Sail Away Ladies
  19. Uncle Bunt Stephens - Sail Away Lady
  20. Eck Robertson - Sally Gooden
  21. Don Richardson - Arkansas Traveller

CD 4

  1. Lane Hardin - Hard Time Blues
  2. Charley Patton - Down the Dirt Road Blues
  3. Banjo Joe - Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home
  4. Blind Blake & Charlie Spand - Hastings Street
  5. Blind Lemon Jefferson - See That My Grave's Kept Clean
  6. Golden Melody Boys - Gonna Have 'Lasses In the Morning
  7. Memphis Minnie & Bumblebee Slim - New Orleans Stop Time
  8. Ma Rainey - Prove It On Me Blues
  9. Williamson Brothers & Curry - Gonne Die with My Hammer in My Hand
  10. Geeshie Wiley - Last Kind Words Blues
  11. Dixieland Jug Blowers - Banjoreno
  12. Beale Street Sheiks - It's a Good Thing
  13. Blind Willie Davis - Trust In God and Do the Right
  14. Sleepy John Estes - Someday Baby Blues
  15. Sam Collins - Lonesome Road Blues
  16. Willie Brown - Future Blues
  17. Henry Thomas - Bull Doze Blues
  18. Massey Family - Brown Skin Gal (Down the Lane)
  19. Dick Justice - Henry Lee aka Young Hunting
  20. William Moore - Old Country Rock
  21. Delma Lachney & Blind Uncle Gaspard - La Danseuse
  22. Son House - My Black Mama, Pt. 1 & 2
  23. Skip James - Cypress Grove Blues

CD 5

  1. Robert Johnson - Cross Road Blues
  2. Lydia Mendoza - Mal Hombre
  3. Frenchy's String Band - Sunshine Special
  4. Robert Wilkins - Old Jim Canan's
  5. Amédé Ardoin & Dennis McGee - Les Blues De Voyage
  6. Stripling Brothers - The Lost Child
  7. Jaybird Coleman - I'm Gonna Cross the River Jordan Some of These Days
  8. Sol K. Bright with The Aloha Serenaders - Tomi Tomi
  9. Mississippi Sheiks - Sittin' On Top of the World
  10. Richard Rabbit Brown - James Alley Blues
  11. Big Chief Henry's Indian String Band - The Indian Tom Tom
  12. Prince Albert Hunt's Texas Ramblers - Blues In a Bottle
  13. Bartmon Montet & Joswell Dupuis - Je Me Suis En Alle
  14. Blind Willie Johnson - Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground
  15. Sol Hoopii & His Novelty Quartette - E Mama Ea
  16. Truett & George - Ghost Dance
  17. Roosevelt Graves & Brother - Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind On Jesus)
  18. Joseph Falcon - Allons A Lafayette
  19. Los Madrugadores - Corrido De Joaquin Murrieta, Pt. 1 & 2
  20. Washington Phillips - Denomination Blues (Part 1 & 2)


SKU 88875099692
Barcode # 88875099692
Brand Third Man Records / Columbia Legacy

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