Various Artists

Blues Masters, Vol. 16: More Harmonica Classics

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With such a wealth of great harmonica blues out there, and with such an outstanding track record on Rhino's part in general when it comes to historical compilations, it's no surprise that their second anthology of harmonica blues is just as good as the first. There are fine cuts by many big guns here, including Little Walter, both Sonny Boy Williamsons, James Cotton, Jimmy Reed, Junior Wells, Paul Butterfield, Slim Harpo, and Sonny Terry (whose hard-rocking, electric "Hootin' Blues No. 2," from a 1956 RCA single, is a highlight). The less obvious choices make this a pleasure for mid-level blues fans looking for something they haven't heard before as well as more familiar material: Papa Lightfoot's "Jump the Boogie" is great, early raw electric blues with vocals that sound as if the mike was covered with sandpaper, and Doctor Ross' "Come Back Baby" is one of the most primordial blues recorded at Sun.

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