This 45-song, two-disc collection is subtitled "two decades of killer fretwork", and never was a set so aptly described. Chess Records was the home to seemingly every hot guitar player in the Chicago area, and many of them make their appearance here. Besides the usual label guitar hotshots (Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Lowell Fulson, Earl Hooker, Otis Rush, Robert Nighthawk, Little Milton), space is given to sideman work from legends like Hubert Sumlin and Robert Jr. Lockwood and great one-offs by lesser-known artists like Jody Williams, Danny Overbea, Eddie Burns, Joe Hill Louis, Morris Pejoe, Lafayette Thomas and others. It seems as if everyone recorded for Chess at one time or another, also explaining the inclusion of tracks by John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Lonnie Brooks, Hound Dog Taylor and Elmore James. If electric blues guitar's your thing, then look no further than this fine two-disc compilation.
Alligator has a justifiable reputation as one of the premier blues labels, and it draws on its recorded resources for this compilation. There's certainly no doubting the quality of the players and the music here, from Johnny Winter to the late Hound Dog Taylor, whose raw style sears the ears on Elmore James' "The Sun Is Shining." An older Corey Harris track reminds people that he's a remarkable acoustic slide player, and Sonny Landreth's "Taylor's Rock," from a Hound Dog Taylor tribute, features him playing no less than four parts, and still injecting …
"This new CD from the great Eric Bibb is one of the very best-sounding guitar recordings I have ever heard." (the audiophile voice)
The first album linking the soul-singing greatness of Al Green with the production brilliance and expertise of Willie Mitchell. The results were mutually beneficial; Green got the great production, arrangements, and backing from the Hi Rhythm section that often turned good songs into classics, and he sang with the conviction and talent that provided the final component in an artistically and commercially satisfying union.