Only the hiss and crackle that bedevilled his original recordings for many years has prevented Charley Patton from receiving the same adulation that surrounds the cult of Robert Johnson. On this meticulously remastered Rough Guide the legend of Charley Patton is reborn.

As an illustrious wandering bluesman, Charley spent his life moving nomadically around the Mississippi Delta and made the odd trip further afield to New Orleans, St Louis, Milwaukee and Chicago. All along the road he could be found singing, strumming, drinking and generally living his life hard and fast. He cut just four recording sessions between 1929 and 1934, the highlights of which were selected for this Rough Guide by the Jazz and Blues expert, Nigel Williamson.

The album opens with ‘Mississippi Boweavil Blues’ whereby a humorous imagined dialogue takes place between a farmer and the Boweavil insect which, much to the farmer’s dislike, feeds on cotton buds and flowers. Another classic song the two-part track, ‘High Water Everywhere’ gives Patton’s vivid account of the Mississippi flood of 1927. Another great, the haunting track ‘Screamin’ And Hollerin’The Blues’ was originally released under the name, ‘The Masked Marvel’ but is true Patton genius.

Many of the tracks including, ‘High Sheriff Blues’, ‘Pea Vine Blues’ and ‘Down The Dirt Road Blues’ tackle issues unique to the experience of early twentieth century Mississippi life, yet there's still a universality about the passions and emotions he conjures that makes this record buzz with emotion. 

The bonus album pays homage to Patton's influence and shows how the blues would have sounded very different without his towering example. Enjoy music from the likes of Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, all of whom fell under the great Patton’s spell – and who can blame them?