Down-and-dirty blues don't get any downer or dirtier than James "Son" Thomas. A former sharecropper and grave digger (as well as an accomplished sculptor) who was shot by an ex-wife, Thomas, to put it mildly, lived the blues life he sang about. Eventually his hard road took him all the way to the White House, where he sang the blues for the Reagans (those noted blues lovers) in 1982. This Evidence collection of early-'80s performances features Thomas accompanying himself on acoustic and electric guitar on a set of blues standards associated with his Mississippi Delta mentors Elmore James, Arthur Crudup, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Compare the two versions of "Catfish Blues" for an example of what "unexpurgated" really means.