Personnel: Doctor Ross, Doug Sahm, Alvin Crow, Ron Thompson, Spencer Davis, Charlie Harrison, Shawn Sahm, Ed Tree (vocals, guitar); Bob Hite (vocals, harmonica); Charles Neville (vocals, saxophone); John Magnie, Ronnie Barron (vocals, piano); Kim Bullard (vocals, keyboards); Rose Maddox (vocals, background vocals); Beth Burns, George Chambers , Shannon O'Neill, Ron Cuccia, Joe Chambers, Leigh Harris, Lester Chambers, Roger Troy, The Burns Sisters, The Chambers Brothers, Willie Chambers, Brenda Burns (vocals); Bob Etoll, Harvey Mandel, Mike "Hollywood Fats" Mann, John Fahey, Michael Bloomfield, Leo Kottke (guitar); Steven Soles, Frank Reckard (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); David Mansfield (electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Stephen Bruton (electric guitar); Chris Morgan, Bukka White (slide guitar); John Hickman (banjo); Byron Berline (mandolin, fiddle, background vocals); Ramsey McLean (cello, upright bass); Swamp Dogg (piano, background vocals); Daniel Timms, Jim Hobson, John Herron, Mark Naftalin (piano); Augie Meyers, Barry Goldberg (organ); Larry Taylor (upright bass); Speedy Sparks (bass guitar); Bob Jones , Johnny Perez, Carlos Carraby, Ron Tutt, Steve Chapman , Richard Innes, Larry Vann (drums); John Selk, Maurice McCormick, Sal Valentino (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Liner Note Author: Denny Bruce.
Photographer: Jamie Putnam.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Wayne Gailey; Cal Hand.
The Takoma label is most famed for its series of releases by John Fahey (the company's owner in its early days) in the '60s, but issued a fairly diverse catalog of roots-oriented music up through the '80s. That very diversity, however, ensures that a sampler such as this, which has 17 tracks recorded for Takoma between 1964 and 1987, is all over the map...There are selections by Maria Muldaur, Sir Douglas Quintet, Canned Heat, Rose Maddox, Michael Bloomfield, and Spencer Davis, all of them past their respective primes; blues from Bukka White (the 1964 single "World Boogie," the first Takoma 45) and Dr. Ross; and entries from Swamp Dogg, Charles Bukowski, and Fahey himself, as well as a recording of a Wurlitzer organ at the Santa Monica Pier Merry-Go-Round (!). The ultimate effect is something like tuning in to an idiosyncratic broadcast by a post-baby-boomer at a college radio station. But there's some good music, to be sure (and some mediocre music as well)... ~ Richie Unterberger