Howlin' Wolf may be gone, but his spirit lives on, as this 13-track tribute album featuring members of the Wolf's own band attests. Sam Lay, Eddie Shaw, Hubert Sumlin, and the rest are as tight and smooth as they ever were playing behind Howlin' Wolf, and they've got an array of guest stars to do the Wolf proud. Taj Mahal (sounding a good bit like Wolf himself) is here, as are guitar-slinger Debbie Davies and multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal. Lucinda Williams does a bluesy turn, and there are contributions from Lucky Peterson, James Cotton, and more. The CD features plenty of Wolf favorites, including "Saddle My Pony," "Howlin' for My Darling," "The Red Rooster," "Howlin' Wolf Boogie," and "Smokestack Lightnin'," among others. All in all, it's a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the blues is immeasurable.
Please Mr. Foreman
Originally recorded in 1985. Tommy has four original compositions of this giant blues packed CD that covers the gammet: electric blues, Delta, R&B and Rock. The Blues Eldorados were Tommy Bankhead on guitar and vocals. L.A. Ben Wells (L.A. stands for Lola Alabama) on drums. Lonnie Brown on Bass (check out track #5 "Making Love is Good for you" - he cut loose on this dance tune)…..
Slide guitarist and songwriter John Campbell was a man driven. Before his untimely death, he had pulled out all the stops to play a music that was full of mystery, pathos, dark energy, and plenty of rock & roll strut 'n' growl; it could be frightening in its intensity. Howlin' Mercy was the last of two recordings for Elektra, and is by far the heavier of the two. As displayed by its opening track, "Ain't Afraid of Midnight," Campbell was a considerable slide guitarist who owed his skill to the bluesmen like Lightnin' Hopkins (from his home state of Texas), Fred McDowell, and a few others. His solos are wrangling, loose, and shambolic; they are undeniably dark and heavy. They cut with elegance across the rhythms and melodies in his songs. This is followed by a version of "When the Levee Breaks" that is a direct counter to and traditional reclamation of the Led Zep version and places it back firmly in the blues canon. As evidenced by "Saddle Up My Pony," Campbell was equally skilled at transmuting the Delta blues and framing them in a very modern context without taking anything away from their chilling, spare power and poetry.
Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. Musician and critic Cub Koda noted, "no one could match Howlin' Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits." Producer Sam Phillips recalled, "When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies'". Several of his songs, including "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Back Door Man", "Killing Floor" and "Spoonful", have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 51 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."