Following up on last year’s release of The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume 1, Jack White’s Third Man Records, in partnership with John Fahey’s Revenant Records, are now set to release Volume 2. On November 18, fans of Delta Blues artists like Son House, Skip James, Charley Patton and Tommy Johnson will be able to get their hands on the new set – provided they can simultaneously get their hands on its 800-plus tracks, six LPs (on holograph-laden and individually numbered white vinyl), 250-page hardcover book, separate 400-page “field guide” to the set’s artists, 90-plus original Paramount ads and a sculpted metal USB drive for the music and image player app, all housed within an art deco aluminum and steel cabinet.
Amid this ornate packaging and paraphernalia, we can expect a thorough musical and textual history of Paramount Records’ final five years, 1928-1932. Originally an offshoot of the Wisconsin Chair Company, Paramount secured its business – and its place in the history of American music – when it began catering to the African-American audience in 1922. The label’s open-door policy allowed the blues artists we know as the genre’s forefathers to commit their music to tape. Now, Third Man and Revenant will give that music the care and context it deserves.