Johnny "Guitar" Watson

The Very Best of Johnny "Guitar" Watson [Rhino]

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AllMusic Review by

Johnny "Guitar" Watson was a blues/R&B/funk pioneer, both in sound and music, and this 18-track collection zeroes in on his bluesiest and earliest sides. Watson a true multi-talent and this set shows it off to great advantage while still staying firmly in the blues mode throughout; he was a blazing boogie woogie pianist (check him out on the earlier version with Chuck Higgins of "Motorhead Baby"), a futuristic guitarist who influenced Bo Diddley and Ike Turner in the instrument-as-noisemaker department (1954's "Space Guitar") and a soulful singer who was both uptown and as gutbucket as you could possibly ask for (1962's "That's the Chance You've Got to Take" and 1955's "Three Hours Past Midnight" which also sports one mean and spare guitar solo), an artist who understood low down blues and be-bop jazz and came up with his own melding of it. Watson is the lost genius of the blues and this set is a long overdue tribute to a true pioneer visionary.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:38
2 2:13
3 2:24
4 2:36
5 2:27
6 2:39
7 2:41
8 2:44
9 3:23
10 2:35
11 3:15
12 2:58
13 3:04
14 2:35
15 2:59
16 2:53
17 2:48
18
feat: Floyd Dixon
2:18
blue highlight denotes track pick