Matchbox Bluesmaster Series Set 8: Big Road Blues



In stock
Catalogue Number

The Matchbox Bluesmaster series now continues with a further 5 x 6CD sets containing albums released by Saydisc on its then newly formed Matchbox label a decade earlier, which introduced collectors to many blues, hokum, ragtime and gospel artists that had not been re-issued at that time as well as recordings made in the US between 1966 and 1972 of singers in the classic blues tradition. The final set is devoted to Matchbox’s central role in the 1960’s British Blues Boom.

View other titles in the Matchbox Bluesmaster Series


"Having issued seven 6-CD box sets of recordings of early blues, gospel and hokum (originally issued by Saydisc in the 1980s), the Matchbox Bluesmaster Series has now begun a fresh project: to make available a further five 6-CD sets of classic blues from the Saydisc subsidiary Matchbox" London Jazz News, Chris Parker

"Here are six CDs offering 79 tracks and over four hours of recordings made during the blues revival. Spurred on by the spectacular rediscoveries of John Hurt in 1963 and Son House and Skip James in 1964, the blues revival would inspire fresh recordings of artists largely inactive for decades and seek out previously unrecorded ones whose playing echoed the sounds of a vaunted Golden Age." Living Blues USA

"The eighth set in the epic Bluesmaster series... Set 7 was meant to be the last of the current series, so you can imagine my delight when Set 8 dropped through the door. Titled “Big Road Blues” and subtitled “1966-1972: The Tradition Continues”, the collection is more focused on individual artists than styles or themes." Jazz Journal

"This new box set in the series Bluesmaster (Vol 8) titled “Big Road Blues” is made up of field recordings worth buying …Here is a very recommended box set" Il Blues magazine (Italy)

“I can wholeheartedly recommend this CD box. There is much to enjoy for everyone. It is great that the records from 1972 are now available on CD.” Joe Beckers, Doctor Jazz Mag, Netherlands

"There is no doubt that these reissues are essential listening for dedicated blues lovers who want to explore more deeply the roots of our music." John Mitchell, Blues Blast Magazine, Dec 2022

"If there's ever been a better series of archived blues recordings made available than this, I'd be surprised. Each set offers something new to the ears: many recordings you may never have heard before, nearly all previously unavailable on CD. The Bluesmaster Series is proving a real blues treasure trove… and to put it simply, this is pure blues heaven… These sets are absolutely unmissable. Together, they are undoubtedly one of the finest blues collections you will ever find." Pete Clack, Blues In Britain

“There is a lot to enjoy here and a lot to study and ponder as well. It is well to be reminded of the debt we owe to those who went out and captured this music.” Howard Rye, Blues & Rhythm Oct 22

“All in all a very exciting release. It will be interesting to see the continuation of this series, covering all those Matchbox LP’s released at a time when you were so hungry for the blues, and there wasn't much on the menu. Evans and Ferris' delta recordings are hard to match, and with Furry Lewis as a bonus, this is a reissue well worth acquiring, especially for anyone interested in the country blues.” Max W Sievert, Jefferson Blues Mag, Sweden

“Big Rood Blues features fascinating Deep South field recordings.” Rock ‘n’ Reel Sept/Oct 22

"Matchbox's latest six-CD boxed set consists of a previously unreleased, multi-artist compilation, Big Road Blues, and five albums originally released between 1969 and 1972: Furry Lewis's In Memphis, Little Brother Montgomery's Home Again, Viola Wells's Miss Rhapsody and the multi-artist Blues From The Delta and The Legacy Of Tommy Johnson. Absurdly, Furry Lewis is best known through Joni Mitchell's 'Furry Sings The Blues', written after an uncomfortable meeting between the two, but he was a formidable, adventurous guitarist and these home-taped recordings include deep and gripping versions of the likes of 'Highway 61'. Barrelhouse pianist Little Brother Montgomery's album includes 'Jan', a rather too gushing tribute to his wife who actually sings, pretty well, on four tracks, with Montgomery providing sublime accompaniment. Miss Rhapsody sees Viola wells sings convincingly on blues songs like 'See, See Rider' and gospel songs like 'Power In The Blood'. The Legacy of Tommy Johnson comprises Joyanson songs like 'Canned Heat Blues', performed  by obscure but talented artists such as his brother Mager Johnson; Blues From The Delta features interesting tracks from James 'Son' Thomas, Lee Kizart, Scott Dunbar and Lovey Williams; and Big Road Blues features fascinating Deep South field recordings." Trevor Hodgett, RNR

"Entitled Big Road Blues (1966–1972: The Tradition Continues), the first set of the series begins with an informally recorded set from the doyen of Memphis blues, Furry Lewis. In 1968, music historian Karl Gert zur Heide visited the veteran bluesman at his home (an occasion audibly less awkward than the similar event memorialised by Joni Mitchell in her song “Furry Sings the Blues”) and recorded him singing over a dozen self-selected songs. Lewis apparently resisted his audience’s calls for “Beale Street Blues”, but otherwise proves a willing, enthusiastic performer, his set containing everything from blues classics (the hugely affecting Blind Lemon Jefferson song “See that My Grave Is Kept Clean” the album’s highlight) through largely instrumental features (“Spanish Flang Dang”) to popular material (“My Blue Heaven” in an enjoyably informal version). Lewis’s voice is a keening, emotional instrument (Samuel Charters memorably calls him one of “only a handful of singers with the creative ability to use the blues as an expression of personal emotion”), and his playing, basically slide guitar with a ‘drone’ provided by the lowest string, is highly individual (although his claims to have invented the bottleneck technique have been disputed). This is a valuable record of a legendary figure. Disc 2 features pianist Little Brother (Eurreal) Montgomery, whom liner-note writer Derrick Stewart-Baxter refers to as “the last of the great barrelhouse men”. Versatility is Montgomery’s watchword: he is equally adept at playing, in his words, “songs, ballads, blues, boogie-woogie and rags’…

Another set of David Evans’s field recordings provides the (previously unreleased) material for Disc 4. Mott Willis sings and/or plays guitar on eight of the album’s 16 tracks; unassuming versatility and keening sincerity are his hallmarks, and his ‘story’ song, “Bad Night Blues”, is one of the highlights of the disc..."Find full review here - Chris Parker, London Jazz News


© 2010-2023 Wyastone. All Rights Reserved.