Howlin' Wolf - The Genuine Article (1951-70)
FLAC (tracks+cue+log+covers) | 417 Mb | RS
Released: 1997 | Label:MCA/Chess (MCD 11073) | Genre:Blues
This magisterial set opens with 1951's "Moanin' At Midnight", recorded for Sun Records, but appearing on Chicago's Chess label the next year. It was for Chess that the Wolf would record his formidable body of work, only entering the studio at the age of 41. Chester Burnett was given his performing name as a child, by his grandfather. He was taught guitar by Charley Patton and, later, harmonica by Sonny Boy Williamson II, his raw-throated delivery possessed of an unequalled authority, becoming a prime influence on later artists like Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits. The Wolf's fearsome personal reputation is audible in his music, charged with a trembling violence as he grinds through an unbeatable string of classics: "How Many More Years", "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Wang Dang Doodle", "Spoonful", "The Red Rooster", "300 Pounds Of Joy" and "Killing Floor", all written either by key blues composer Willie Dixon or The Wolf himself. Dixon plays double bass on most tracks, with Hubert Sumlin's stinging lead guitar also an essential part of Howlin's regular band. The rest of the revolving line-up reads like a who's- who of blues kingpins: Ike Turner, Otis Spann, Jimmy Rogers, Buddy Guy. To close, there's a rare solo acoustic glimpse on 1968's "Ain't Goin' Down That Dirt Road" and 1970's version of "The Red Rooster", with willing electric pupils Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts.