With this issue the British Archive label continues to document many of the labels and groups that have not been particularly well covered to date. The Edison label tried its hand at rural music in the 1920s, but was not very successful with it, and it was pretty well known that Thomas Edison (who picked most of the talent himself) was not a big fan of "hillbilly" music. This 20 track compilation can be judged two ways: it is a good sampling of what the Edison label put out in this category, but it is not as strong musically as it could be. I think most old time music fans would have preferred to see this collection strictly devoted to the rural groups, leaving out the "ersatz" hillbilly music of Vernon Dalhart, Frankie Marvin, Carson Robison and Frank Luther --they account for 8 of the 20 tracks here. Edison had several good rural string bands: Posey Rorer, Fiddlin' Powers Family and Ernest Stoneman; just two Powers cuts and one Stoneman track are presented here, which is frustrating because here was the perfect chance to bring out more rare tunes by these important artists (Stoneman for one, recorded a lot for Edison). Edison also signed up some older fiddlers during the height of the Henry Ford sponsored old-time fiddlers' contests --the three are represented here (Jasper Bisbee, John Baltzell and Allen Sisson). There's only one cut each by Baltzell and Bisbee, and just two by Sisson, a legendary fiddler from Ducktown, Tenn., who made at least 8 recordings including his versions of CUMBERLAND GAP and ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN. With brief but good notes by Tony Russell.