Various artists

Blues queen Koko Taylor belted out once, “I got a dollar and a quarter and I’m rarin’ to clown!” That’s nearly all the coin you’ll need for this swell 18-track collection from the newly formed Blues Music Association. Retailing at $2, it’s hard to choose highlights from such a rich lode that pointedly shows the genre’s breadth. Robert Cray and Delbert McClinton are both funky-suave; young powerhouse Shemekia Copeland shakes her bad finger on “It’s 2 A.M.”; Bay Area hero Tommy Castro exudes glistening bravado; Keb’ Mo maintains his post as spiritual blues leader with “The Door”; soulman Johnnie Taylor’s “Last Two Dollars”—“These last two dollars / I’m not gonna lose / One’s going for the bus fare / Other for the jukebox / I got to hear me some down home blues”—could come outta my pocket any day. The sad twinge comes when Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar bursts out on “Pride and Joy.” He’s still missed.