Various Artists

Stompin', Vol. 3

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Another quality installment in the ongoing series of rare R&B, rock & roll, and blues singles, Stompin', Vol. 3 contains some fine moments by high-profile singers like Rufus Thomas and rock & roll innovator Jackie Brenston, but the collection's best moments come via obscure gems by an assortment marginal honkers, shouters, and rockers. The mix rambles from Harmon "Hump" Jones' Gospel-infused vocal cut "Lookin' for my Baby" to the Crawford Brothers' cop-drama theme "I Ain't Guilty" and Johnny Little John's Chicago blues scorcher "Bloody Tears." The influence of Little Walter's ratty, harp-driven blues is particularly prevalent, with standouts including Polka Dot Slim's "A Thing You Gotta Face" and the Bees' "Tough Enough." And varying the musical landscape even more, there's some Louis Jordan-inspired jump blues by Wally Mercer, some proto-soul by Sherman Evans, and one of the most killing of stomping back beats compliments of Phil Flowers. Most impressive of all, though, is the sheer bristling energy that marks almost all of these lo-fi juke-joint cuts. The Stompin' records might not be best suited to newcomers, but they certainly offer a treasure trove of rare roots music to the broadminded R&B fan.