The occasion of the series of television films broadcast under the umbrella title The Blues in the fall of 2003 provided the opportunity to compile the highlights of Keb' Mo''s recording career thus far into a single-disc collection…
While 2002's Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble is the place to go for the complete picture, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan works well as a nice single-disc introduction to the work of the influential blues guitarist. Perhaps a few more hits could have been included to make this more attractive to the curious buyer, but with a previously unreleased live version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and a track listing that dodges much of the 1995 Greatest Hits collection, this does offer an alternative for longtime fans.
This 7 DVD set features rare archival performance footage of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton and many more. It also features newly filmed performances by contemporary artists singing classic blues songs. It may have been underrated when first broadcast on PBS on consecutive nights in the fall of '03, but executive producer Martin Scorsese's homage to the blues is a truly significant, if imperfect, achievement. "Musical journey" is an apt description, as Scorsese and the six other directors responsible for these seven approximately 90-minute films follow the blues–the foundation of jazz, soul, R&B, and rock & roll–from its African roots to its Mississippi Delta origins, up the river to Memphis and Chicago, then to New York, the United Kingdom, and beyond.
The box set attempts to present a history of the blues from the dawning of recorded music to the present day. It offers a survey of many different blues sub-genres and tangential music styles, as well as a survey of almost all the most notable blues performers over time.