Robert Nighthawk (aka Robert Lee McCoy) remains one of the most overlooked and underrated of the Delta blues singers and bottleneck slide guitarists. And while he deeply influenced Muddy Waters and Elmore James, Nighthawk never achieved their acclaim. He combines the urbanity of Lonnie Johnson and Tampa Red, his main influence, with the rawer qualities and deep blues of musicians like Robert Johnson on the harrowing "Crying Won't Help You." One of the first to amplify his guitar, while recording his hit and signature tune "Sweet Black Angel" in 1949 -- the song that B. B. King transformed into an even bigger hit as "Sweet Little Angel" in 1956 -- Nighthawk's recording career was sporadic. BRICKS IN MY PILLOW is his United sessions, including three alternate takes, recorded in 1951-52 after his brief stint with Chess. In his distinctive brawny croon over fluid, looping slide guitar, Nighthawk delivers lyrical songs that are as ominous and pensive as they are emotionally bitter and resigned. The paucity of studio recordings by Nighthawk makes this collection of eerie slow blues like "The Moon is Rising," Tommy Johnson-inspired songs like "Maggie Campbell," and jump tunes like "Take It Easy Baby" a crucial but rare part of any blues collection.