Music Club has done it again with this amazing retrospective of blues guitarist and harmonicat Charlie Musselwhite. The Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, and Chicago-trained bluesman has issued so many strong recordings it's a wonder that this isn't a box set. But if you have to boil it down to a single disc for a budget price, this is the one to have without question. Contained within its 20 selections are tracks from his two 1970s Arhoolie albums, Takin' My Time and Goin' Back Down South, from 1971 and 1974, respectively; The Harmonica According to Charlie Musselwhite, issued first on Kicking Mule and later on Blind Pig in 1978 and 1994, respectively; and finally from his Alligator albums, Ace of Harps (1990 and a Grammy winner), Signature (1992 and Grammy nominated), and In My Time (1994, also Grammy nominated).
Drummer/label head Pat Ford reunited with Charlie Musselwhite and brought along brother Robben Ford on guitar, producing this return to form. Musselwhite is up to the task in all departments – singing, playing (great tone), and especially songwriting (the title tune and "Seemed Like the Whole World Was Crying," inspired by Muddy Waters' death) – but it had been a while since Robben Ford had played low-down blues (touring with Joni Mitchell, putting in countless hours in L.A. studios), and it may have been wiser to give the guitar chair to Tim Kaihatsu, who by this time had seniority in terms of hours on the bandstand with Musselwhite, above any other Musselwhite alumnus. Pianist Clay Cotton is in fine form. This time out, the deviations (to be expected by now) include Don & Dewey's "Stretching Out," an impressive chromatic harp rendering of "Exodus," and Musselwhite's solo guitar outing, "Baby-O." Easily Musselwhite's best-engineered album yet (nice job, Greg Goodwin).
The addition of jazz pianist Skip Rose gave a new dimension to the ensemble sound, and provided a perfect foil to Charlie's own soloing – especially on the re-take of "Cristo Redentor," extended to 11 minutes, shifting to double-time in spots. Rose's instrumental, "A Nice Day for Something," is a welcome change of pace, and Musselwhite's "Blue Feeling Today" compares favorably to fine covers of Little Walter and Fenton Robinson tunes.
Stax Deluxe CD+DVD-Edition! 6-plated green packaging with 24-page booklet This album is a dream come true for both artists. Ever since meeting for the first time many years ago, they had the idea of recording together. But due to scheduling conflicts, no recording dates could be set. Finally, it all worked out well, and what a great album this is! Backed by Harper’s band, Harper and Musselwhite are sounding fantastic. The music’s new, innovative, powerful, deep, passionate with great lyrics and perfectly performed. My favorite for winning the best blues album of the year award. This edition comes with a 38 minute bonus DVD including three live cuts, a.o. Ben Harper – voc/gtr/slide gtr, Charlie Musselwhite – hca, Jason Mozersky – gtr, Jesse Ingalls – kbds/bass, Jordan Richardson – drums.
Sanctuary is the twenty third studio album by American singer and harpist Charlie Musselwhite. It was released in 2004 on Peter Gabriel's Real World label, Musselwhite's debut release on this label. The album features two other American artists who have released on Real World: all male vocal gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama, and folk blues guitarist Ben Harper…
Legendary Charlie Musselwhite backed by his acclaimed kick ass band - rocking' the house! Blues from the Delta - live recorded show from the heart of Blues country - Clarksdale MS. Charlie Musselwhite, more than any other harmonica player of his generation, can rightfully lay claim to inheriting the mantle of many of the great harp players that came before him with music as dark as Mississippi mud or as uplifting as the blue skies of California. In an era when the term legendary gets applied to auto-tuned pop stars, this singular blues harp player, singer, songwriter and guitarist has earned and deserves to be honored as a true master of American classic vernacular music.
No Mercy In This Land is a blues record. Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper were introduced to one another by John Lee Hooker. The legendary musician thought the two men should play together, so he brought them into the studio to record a song called simply “Burnin’ Hell.”
Calling this retrospective by Charlie Musselwhite a "deluxe edition" may be a little misleading. Twelve of the album's 14 tracks come from three albums he recorded for Alligator in the early '90s. There are four each from Ace of Harps (1990), Signature (1991), and In My Time (1993). The sequencing is beautifully done and representative. The true curiosities are two unissued cuts. The first is "Lotsa Poppa," an outtake from the In My Time sessions. The cut itself isn't such a revelation, but Musselwhite's harp playing and singing is. His delivery is signature in that he is always slow and relaxed yet just underneath. There in the grain of his voice is something else, something that smolders. The final cut here is from Musselwhite's private collection of tapes and it was recorded at home in the early '60s. It features the legendary Will Shade instructing a very young Musselwhite on guitar and singing with him. This is priceless archival blues history and is a fine bookend.