Junior Parker


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Harpist and singer Junior Parker was far from a one-trick pony, and his early ragged R&B tracks from the 1950s, which never strayed too far from the blues, are both refreshing and surprisingly varied. This fine set contains his earliest recordings for Modern, Sun Records, and his first sides for Duke, with Ike Turner (who was the one who spotted Parker and brought him to Modern Records), Matt Murphy, Pat Hare, and Bobby Bland assisting on various tracks. Among the highlights are the chugging "Feelin' Good," the lean elegance of "Mystery Train," the proto-rockabilly of "Love Me Baby," and the driving "I Wanna Ramble." For giving "Mystery Train" a definitive form and arrangement alone, Parker deserves a spot in the rock and blues pantheon.

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