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A selected soundtrack from Robert Mugge’s documentary of the same name, Last of the Mississippi Jukes indicates that those genuine Delta venues that haven’t yet shuttered their doors at least lost their souls sometime between Robert Palmer’s Deep Blues and Mugge’s film. The music of struggle has become the sound of development as well-meaning entrepreneurs have opened up retro-style blues clubs miles from the dilapidated real things, so this slick, electrified collection culls live performances from both Clarksdale’s Ground Zero Blues Club, founded by Morgan Freeman and other backers to keep the juke tradition alive, and Jackson’s Subway Lounge, an across-town destination for white blues fans. The disc is an unjudgmental and slightly depressing depiction of how this elder American art form has adapted to modern demands, both pop and political, and lost some of its urgency in the transformation. Loping romps such as Levon Lindsey and J.T. Watkins’ “You Know I’ve Tried” and Dennis Fountain and Pat Brown’s “The Blues Is Alright” verge on dance-party R&B, the slow drag of Lucille’s “What Goes Around, Comes Around” is rendered in a voice more suited to singing torch, and blues classics get the arena treatment. (“Let me hear you say, ‘Yeah!’” shouts Patrice Moncell during a sax-solo-heavy “Stormy Monday.”) Elsewhere, Grammy-winner Chris Thomas King, who can play the bejeebers out of everyone’s blues but his wan, hiphop-influenced own, blandly performs “John Law Burned the Liquor Store,” and Vasti Jackson places new and old economic oppressions side by side with “Casino in the Cottonfield.” Almost everyone performs capably on Mississippi Jukes, but the plastic sheen of crowd-pleasing is impermeable. This is the blues for tourists.

—Arion Berger