Charlie Musselwhite

Ace of Harps

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"This is the best band I've ever had," Musselwhite proclaims on the back of this LP; longtime fans would find that debatable. Rather than schooled on the Chess sounds that provided Charlie with his foundation, these guys play a Malaco strain of blues, and Tommy Hill is simply one of the busiest (read: obnoxious) drummers anywhere. A "Boogie Chillen" takeoff ("River Hip Mama") is surprisingly not just same-old, same-old, but for the most part the funkified blues contrasts sharply with the album's two most poignant numbers, the jazz standard "Yesterdays" (with Charlie on chromatic, borrowing from trumpeter Clifford Brown's "strings" album) and "My Road Lies in Darkness" -- just Charlie and his acoustic guitar.

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