British blues boomed in the late-1960s, but like most waves of change in music what seemed like an overnight manifestation had been brewing for sometime - in fact from as far back as the late 50s as lan Anderson would claim. but the editor of Folk Roots Magazine wasn't just a witness to this musical-evolution, he was very much a central exponent and though this period in British music is centred on electric bands, Anderson's compilation Matchbox Days focuses on the strong acoustic blues scene which developed side-by-side labels such as Origin started a reissue programme using tracks from as far back as the 1920s and 30s, bringing the old gems back into the limelight for a new generation of musicians to rediscover.
In early 1968, along with a fellow blues man Mike Cooper, Anderson approached a local record label Saydisc with a proposal to start a blues label called Matchbox. The first Matchbox LP Blues Like Showers Of Rain, appeared several months later, and contained music from British blues artists such as Dave Kelly and (big sister) Jo-Ann Kelly, Simon Preager and Steve Rye amongst many others. John Peel picked up on this early on, and gave the LP plenty of airtime. Melody Maker also had its part to play, dedicating a considerable amount of column inches to the blues revival. The rest of the press and radio? Well, they followed on soon after, as festivals and conventions popped up all over the place, National steel guitars became in vogue, shooting up in price, and lo'n'behold a thriving blues community was born. Its popularity was short-lived and, as the 60s drew to a close, the blues revival waned as rapidly as it had fired up, leaving behind a generous injection of the bloodstream of musicians and styles which followed. The Matchbox label released a second volume of Blues Like Showers Of Rain and another LP called The Inverted World. This 22-tracker contains the best of the label's catalogue and also includes tracks from lan Anderson's Saydisc EP Almost The Country Blues, all hand picked by the man himself. Anderson also provides vivid commentary in the sleevenotes for those who weren't there the first time round.