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Superharps
     

Superharps

by James Cotton
 
The humble harmonica takes center stage on SUPERHARPS with veterans James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite, and, from a younger generation, Sugar Ray Norcia, blowing the blues away. Centered on the industrial-strength playing developed and nurtured in the Windy City, this vibrant set finds each player in top form. Cotton, who just seems to play better with

Overview

The humble harmonica takes center stage on SUPERHARPS with veterans James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite, and, from a younger generation, Sugar Ray Norcia, blowing the blues away. Centered on the industrial-strength playing developed and nurtured in the Windy City, this vibrant set finds each player in top form. Cotton, who just seems to play better with age, makes the instrumental "The Hucklebuck" chug along with the power and control of an express train rolling into Chicago from Memphis. Musselwhite moved to the West Coast after his stint in the Windy City, and his playing on "Blues, Why Do You Worry Me" and "If I Should Have Bad Luck" has taken on a laid-back Southern California feel. Branch's playing is the most diverse. He uses jazzy licks to sass up "Route 66," makes the harmonica as greasy as fatback on "Mean Little Mama," and goes for the roadhouse roar on "You're So Fine." A gifted singer as well as a fine harp player, Norcia, who was with Roomful of Blues for five years, uses his sweet vocals to put a '50s country spin on "I'm Gonna Steal Your Baby" and "Life Will Be Better." The grand finale, "Harp to Harp," is an extended jam featuring all four stylists. But mutual admiration reigns over competition. A love fest rather than a cutting session, SUPERHARPS showcases four of the finest blues harpists on the planet.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
Four great blues harmonica players (James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite, and Sugar Ray Norcia) are featured in various combinations on this spirited disc, backed by a four-piece rhythm section (with guitarist Kid Bangham and pianist Anthony Geraci). Cotton and Norcia have solo pieces, seven numbers feature two harmonicas, and the lengthy low-down blues "Harp to Harp" has all four of the harmonica players taking turns soloing. Much of the material is jazz-oriented, including "The Hucklebuck," "TD's Boogie Woogie," and "Route 66," and the majority of the selections are instrumentals. Each of the harmonica players sounds inspired and the results are consistently exciting and swinging.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408347221
catalogNumber:
83472
Rank:
46546

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Cotton   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Vocals
Billy Branch   Harmonica,Vocals,Track Performer
Charlie Musselwhite   Harmonica,Vocals,Track Performer
Kid Bangham   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Anthony Geraci   Piano
Per Hanson   Drums
David Maxwell   Piano
Sugar Ray Norcia   Harmonica,Vocals,Track Performer
Michael Ward   Bass,Acoustic Bass

Technical Credits

Cub Koda   Liner Notes
Andy Gibson   Composer
Robert Woods   Executive Producer
Steve Drown   Engineer
Anilda Carrasquillo   Art Direction
Randy Labbe   Producer
Roy Alfred   Composer
Thoms Macko   Illustrations

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