Various Artists

Blues Masters, Vol. 18: More Slide Guitar Classics

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Rhino's second slide guitar anthology leads off with a couple of dyed-in-the-wool classics with Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied" and Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying." But the emphasis on this 18-track disc is much more on little-heard delights that might come as surprises even to knowledgeable blues fans. Earl Hooker's "Wah Wah Blues" shows him playing around with the wah-wah pedal to great effect in late 1968; Boyd Gilmore's 1952 single "All My Dreams" has great raw soloing from Elmore James (spliced in from James' "Please Find My Baby" single); Chuck Berry's "Blues for Hawaiians" reveals a little-noted aspect of his playing; and Eddie "One String" Jones' "John Henry" is a primitive one-string blues that takes the slide back to its diddley bow origins. There's also the strange rockabilly-blues hybrid "Rocking in the Coconut Top" by Hop Wilson, with weird background noises that sound like balloons being rubbed. There are also plenty of quality selections by bigger names like Blind Willie Johnson, J.B. Hutto, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Son House, Tampa Red, and Johnny Winter, with the expected expert liner notes by Cub Koda.

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