Freight Train Boogie

by: The Delmore Brothers

It's kind of a toss-up as to whether this or the German When They Let the Hammer Fall is the best compilation of the Delmore Brothers work from the late '40s and early '50s. When They Let the Hammer Fall is more raucous and up-tempo; the 20-track Freight Train Boogie, though, has more variety. Freight Train Boogie is much easier to locate in the U.S. than When They Let the Hammer Fall. In addition, there's a fair amount of duplication between the anthologies, though each includes several noteworthy songs not on the other. In any case, you won't be disappointed by Freight Train Boogie, whether it's your first exposure to the Delmore Brothers or not. Featuring King material from 1946-1951, it has plenty of high-spirited country boogies, balanced by more traditionally folk-oriented material ("Sand Mountain Blues," "Weary Day") and bluesy, slower numbers, including their biggest hit (and one of their best), "Blues Stay Away from Me." These sides were not only some of the finest country music of the era, but important building blocks of rockabilly and early rock & roll. ~ Richie Unterberger

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