Uncut - p.1154 stars out of 5
- "[T]he intensity in his voice is self-evident."
The Wire - 6/01, p.67
"...It's not often that a budget price reissue deserves the tag indispensable..."
Living Blues - 7-8/01, p.82
"...The sound is excellent....the perfect Patton set for those who can live without the handful of unissued tracks."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.71
Included in Mojo's "Best Blues Albums of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) - 6/01, p.118
"...This is the 1st time those battered old 78s have been remastered to a standard which actually renders them listenable....He wasn't built to last, but his music was."
The story of Delta blues starts with Charley Patton's slashing slide style, hoarse and gruff vocals, and unerring ability to enliven and enlarge even the most mundane blues lyric. Patton's 78s have been collected in several fine packages, including the JSP box called Complete Recordings: 1929-1934, Catfish's nifty three-disc budget box called The Definitive Charley Patton (this is a straight reissue of that set via Recall), and the last word in all this, the impressive (and expensive) seven-disc Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues from Revenant Records. For those without deep pockets, though, this package really has everything at a decent price, including Patton's best-known songs like "Pony Blues," the two-part "High Water Everywhere," "Down the Dirt Road Blues," "High Sheriff Blues," "A Spoonful Blues," and "Revenue Man Blues." Since Patton's rhythms and overall approach can be repetitive at times, casual listeners wondering what all the fuss is about might be better served with a single-disc release (there are several on the market), but Patton's work is both the big bang and the epicenter of country blues, so going a little deeper and springing for this one makes perfect sense. ~ Steve Leggett