Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues

The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues

by Howlin' Wolf
     
 
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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/12/2002
Label:
Chess
UPC:
0008811282028
catalogNumber:
112820
Rank:
13287

Related Subjects

Tracks

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   Liner Notes
Walter Vinson   Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin   Liner Notes
Lonnie Chatmon   Composer
Marshall Chess   Producer
Mike Fink   Reissue Design
Mel London   Composer
Andy McKaie   Reissue Producer
Vartan   Reissue Art
Paul Williams   Liner Notes
Don Bronstein   Cover Art
Beth Stempel   Reissue Production Coordination
Chester Burnett   Composer

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