Blind Man Blues
The blues belongs to everyone, and everyone essentially understands what it means to have the blues, but when you're blind, and you're black, and you live in the South, and you have to earn your keep, you can understand the blues at its deepest levels. There are so many blind blues players in the early history of recorded blues for a very simple reason. You didn't have to see to be able to sing and play guitar, banjo, or piano, and if you played and sang well enough, you could pay your way. A collection of early blues sides by black blind musicians is an odd way to approach a blues anthology, but it works very well for this two-disc, 50-track set, which not only delivers classic blues takes from the likes of Ray Charles, Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, Sleepy John Estes, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others, it also illustrates how the early blues was a truly commercial music, a way of using the blues to ease the blues, both emotionally and financially -- which is why some say that only the blues can cure the blues.