The King complex of labels was a wealth of great R&B recordings of all kinds. In this second volume drawn from the tape vaults, there are hits and records that should have been hits by famous and obscure artists alike.
The Very Best of King/Federal/Deluxe, Vol. 2 collects 25 tracks from the vaults of those labels, highlighting jump blues, electric blues, R&B, and doo wop. Recorded in the late '40s to mid-'50s, this package features hit performances from Little Willie John, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Wynonie Harris, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Roy Brown, and Billy Ward & the Dominoes, alongside rarities by Todd Rhodes, Dorothy Ellis, and the Valtones. For the most part the sound quality is decent, but a few of the tracks ("Blues for the Red Boy," "I Want a Bowlegged Woman," "Moaning Blues") are particularly muddy, especially for a full-price CD compilation. ~ Al Campbell