Roots N' Blues: The Retrospective 1925-1950
by Various Artists
Columbia Records was just one of many labels recording American roots music in the early 20th century. Nevertheless, its Roots N' Blues box set would serve as a great introduction for anybody interested in exploring vintage folk, country, jug band, jazz, blues and gospel (both black and white). This four-disc monster really does cover it all, from Fiddlin' John Carson to Mississippi John Hurt to the, uh, Light Crust Doughboys. And just for the record, we didn't make that last name up!