Various Artists

Blow'n the Blues: Best of the Great Harp Players

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Subtitled "best of the great harp players," this pulls tracks from various Vanguard releases from the 1960s. Kicking off with five tracks from Junior Wells and five more from James Cotton, the set moves to pick up performances of Big Walter Horton behind Johnny Shines and a duet with a very young Charlie Musselwhite. Musselwhite has four tracks as solo artist, followed by two from the Siegel-Schwall Band. But the true highlight is a live at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival recording of the original Paul Butterfield Blues Band. With Mike Bloomfield on slide guitar, Butterfield tears into a version of Little Walter's "Blues With a Feeling" that would challenge his studio recording of the tune until Sam Lay inadvertently short circuits the tune a chorus too early, leaving Butterfield and the band scrambling for the ending -- a great moment. A classic compilation, especially if you don't already have these tracks on other sets.

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