Various Artists – Blues for Big Walter | Album Review

bluesforbigwaltercdVarious Artists – Blues for Big Walter

EllerSoul Records

16 tracks

When I got this CD and read the back of the package I had mixed feelings.  I said to myself, “Eller Soul does some great stuff but why did they pick tracks from 15 to 24 years ago to fill out the CD?”  Well, they did because those were great tracks to add that Bob Corritore pulled out his vault of great stuff!  Top to bottom, this is a great CD!

The CD starts with Kim Wilson doing “Someday” and I was set up to want more and more dirty and beautiful harmonica licks.  Corritore with Jimmy Rogers from 1992 followed on “She Loves Another Man” and I was well on my way to fulfillment. Nighthawk Mark Wenner  greases things up sweetly on “Worried Life” and then a nice Finnish Sessions track of Steve Guyger doing “If It Aint Me” changes gears a bit for us.

The West Coast harp great Mark Hummel graces us with “Hard Hearted Woman,”  a version where his harp just punches you in the face and makes you want more!  “Great Shakes” by Richmond, VA based Kurt Crandall is a great instrumental cover and Ronnie Owens “We’re Gonna Move to Kansas City” gives us some more slick stuff to listen to.  Sugar Ray Norcia closes out the first half of the set with a well done medley with Anthony Geraci on piano and Mike Welch on guitar.

“Evening Shuffle by Andrew Ali introduced me to this fantastic young harp player and I know all harp aficionados will love him, too.  That makes 10 great, different harp players on this album.  Mark Hummel returns for “Easy,” Wenner does “Walking By Myself,” Guyger does “Little Boy Blue,” Owens and does “Need My Baby”  all quite fantastic in their own ways.  Ali reprises “Easy”  with “Easy II,” taking a slightly slower and more bare approach as a duo with Ivan Applerouth.  Sweet!

Corritore with Robert Lockwood give us “Rambling On My Mind” from a nice 2001 session with Henry Gray, Johnny Rapp, Mario Moreno and Chico Chism.  Lil’ Ronnie closes out the CD with “Think Big,” and all I can say is that the producers at Eller Soul did that and it worked.  All I can say ifs that if you like great harp and don’t add this to your collection you will  miss out on a very superb tribute collection of one of the world’s harp master’s work!

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