Robert Brown, the Itta Bena, Mississippi-born bluesman better known as Smoky Babe, is one of the more mysterious figures in blues history. He was working as a gas-station mechanic in Scotlandville, Louisiana when folklorist Harry Oster discovered him in 1960. Brown was a country blues stylist of the first order. His guitar style was rhythmically propulsive, and his vocals, in the words of the late Cub Koda, "were nothing less than rich, strong, and authoritative." He might easily have made the transition from amateur to professional ranks had he not vanished after cutting this superb album for Oster in 1961. Brown is thought to have died in 1975 at around the age of 48.