Magic Sam

Black Magic Blues

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

An unannotated collection of previously unreleased performances, Magic Sam's Black Magic Blues is a spotty set of brief blues instrumentals that nonetheless has a few interesting surprises. Foremost among these is the uncharacteristically acoustic fingerpicking showcase "FP Blues," an early recording that shows that the guitarist's Delta blues chops were in order long before he went electric. Nothing else surprises like that, but the rollicking "Scatter Shot," which has the hyperkinetic energy of an early rock & roll side, is even more exciting, and the stomping "West Madison Street Blues" adds an intriguingly funky, New Orleans-style backbeat to an otherwise standard Chicago blues. The 12 brief tracks (half of them coming in under the two-minute mark) are otherwise not much to get worked up over, though Magic Sam's playing is typically excellent throughout.

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