Slim Harpo

I'm a King Bee: The Early Swamp Blues Classics

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Slim Harpo brought a good bit of the Louisiana swamp vibe with him when he recorded these immortal sides for Jay Miller's Nashville-based Excello Records in the early '60s, and the rustic, laconic way these recordings unfold, aided and abetted by Miller's trademark echo-laden production, makes them singular even inside the Excello stable. This set sticks to Harpo's earliest Excello material, and therefore lacks some of his best-known tracks like "Baby Scratch My Back," the two-part "Tip on In," and "Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu," but it does have his signature tune, "I'm a King Bee" (and its many variations, like "Buzzin'"), as well as the gorgeous "Rainin' in My Heart." Also included are a rare Harpo cover of John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen'" and some wonderfully ragged gems like "Bobby Sox Baby."

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