The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Like his chief rival and fellow musical icon, Muddy Waters, the larger-than-life singer Howlin’ Wolf has come to symbolize modern Chicago blues. Singing with a Mississippi-mud voice that could only have originated in the Delta, Wolf imbued all he touched with both authentic southern grit and an unearthly power that can still send a chill straight down your back. Bringing together two essential albums of the 1960s, this CD illustrates why Wolf was a beloved -- and feared (by his peers) -- blues master. Some of Wolf’s most snarlingly intense performances are here: “Killing Floor," “Louise,” “Tail Dragger,” and “Sittin’ on Top of the World,” as are the bravado-filled ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Like his chief rival and fellow musical icon, Muddy Waters, the larger-than-life singer Howlin’ Wolf has come to symbolize modern Chicago blues. Singing with a Mississippi-mud voice that could only have originated in the Delta, Wolf imbued all he touched with both authentic southern grit and an unearthly power that can still send a chill straight down your back. Bringing together two essential albums of the 1960s, this CD illustrates why Wolf was a beloved -- and feared (by his peers) -- blues master. Some of Wolf’s most snarlingly intense performances are here: “Killing Floor," “Louise,” “Tail Dragger,” and “Sittin’ on Top of the World,” as are the bravado-filled tributes to his prodigious girth, “Three Hundred Pounds of Joy” and “Built for Comfort.” Although Wolf dominates these recordings -- with a vocal presence like his, how could he not? -- attention should also be paid to his crack supporting players, including the unique and highly influential guitarist Hubert Sumlin.
All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
The Real Folk Blues series on Chess wasn't really folk, but titled that way, perhaps to gain the attention of young white listeners who had started to get turned on to the blues during the 1960s folk revival. And the Howlin' Wolf volumes in the series were not particularly more folk-oriented than his other Chess recordings, but more or less arbitrary selections of tracks that he'd done from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s. It's thus also arbitrary to do a two-fer reissue of his The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues, combined here onto a single disc. That doesn't mean, though, that this isn't very good and sometimes great electric blues music. The Real Folk Blues, with tracks from 1956 to 1965, is by far the more modern of the pair in arrangements, and has a good share of classics: "Killing Floor," "Sittin' on Top of the World," "Built for Comfort," "Tail Dragger," and "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy." There were some lesser-known cuts on that record as well, never less than good and sometimes very good, like the blues-folk staple "Louise" and the driving "Poor Boy," as well as a couple brassy 1965 recordings with both Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy on guitars. More Real Folk Blues, in contrast, consists entirely of 1953-1955 recordings, which are considerably more lo-fi and not as stuffed with high-class memorable material. Yet these are fine raw 1950s electric blues, and occasionally superb, as on the well-known "No Place to Go" and the propulsive "Just My Kind." You might already have some or many of the 24 tracks if you have a bunch of other Howlin' Wolf collections. But a lot of these, particularly from More Real Folk Blues, don't show up on the standard best-of anthologies, so more likely than not if you only have one or two Howlin' Wolf anthologies and want more, this is a pretty good one to get.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/12/2002
  • Label: Chess
  • UPC: 008811282028
  • Catalog Number: 112820
  • Sales rank: 31,646

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Howlin' Wolf Primary Artist, Harmonica, Vocals
Willie Dixon Bass
Henry Gray Piano
Buddy Guy Guitar
Eddie Shaw Tenor Saxophone
Hubert Sumlin Guitar
Sam Lay Drums
Andrew McMahon Bass
Jody Williams Guitar
Jerome Arnold Bass
Fred Below Drums
Junior Blackman Drums
J.T. Brown Tenor Saxophone
Lee Cooper Guitar
Alfred Elkins Bass
Donald Hankins Baritone Saxophone
Hosea Lee Kennard Piano
Lafayette Leake Piano
Earl Phillips Drums
Arnold Rogers Tenor Saxophone
Otis Smokey Smothers Guitar
Otis Spann Piano
Willie Johnson Guitar
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer, Liner Notes
John Lee Hooker Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin Liner Notes
Marshall Chess Producer
Mike Fink Reissue Design
Mel London Composer
Andy McKaie Reissue Producer
Leo Robin Composer
Vartan Reissue Art
Paul Williams Liner Notes
Don Bronstein Cover Art
Richard A. Whiting Composer
Beth Stempel Reissue Production Coordination
Chester Burnett Composer
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