As an Australian, guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel doesn't seem to be much bothered about musical categories. Is his music jazz, folk, bluegrass, new age? Depending on the track, it can be any one. Like his mentor, Chet Atkins, Emmanuel is simply a guitar player, and on Little by Little, a two-CD set, he sticks mostly to acoustic guitar, playing mostly originals, tunes that he has used in concert but not recorded before. He is also mostly solo, although the double-disc length allows him room to share space with guests including singers Pam Rose (on her co-composition "Haba Na Hava") and Anthony Snape (on the folk-rock "Willie's Shades"). Among the covers are two versions of "Moon River," one with a bass countermelody, the other with an Emmanuel vocal, Carole King's "Tapestry," Atkins' "Mountains of Illinois," and "The Tennessee Waltz." Emmanuel plays fast runs, slows down for delicate passages, and adds harmonics on tunes that evoke players including Will Ackerman and John Fahey. He also likes folk-pop; "Papa George" needs only a James Taylor vocal to fit into that category. But Little by Little is a tour de force by a musician who usually leaves categories behind.
"Little Girl" is a rock & roll classic. With its sneering vocals, vague threats, crude chords and rhythms, it's a menacing, swagger masterpiece of garage rock. It's also the only good thing the Syndicate of Sound ever recorded. Little Girl – The History of the Syndicate of Sound compiles nearly everything the group recorded, yet none of it comes close to matching the power of their hit single; it's a mess of weak originals and limp covers. The patience of even the most dedicated garage rock fan will be tested by the disc.
It is no exaggeration to call Little Walter the Jimi Hendrix of the electric harp: he redefined what the instrument was and what it could do, pushing the instrument so far into the future that his music still sounds modern decades after it was recorded. Little Walter wasn't the first musician to amplify the harmonica but he arguably was the first to make the harp sound electric, twisting twitching, vibrant runs out of his instrument; nearly stealing the show from Muddy Waters on his earliest Chess recordings; and so impressing Leonard Chess that he made Muddy keep Walter as his harpist even after Waters broke up his band. Chess also made Walter into his studio's house harpist and started to release Little Walter solo records with the instrumental "Juke" in 1952. "Juke" became a smash hit and turned Little Walter into a star, making him a steady presence on the '50s R&B charts.
Little Richard had been making records for four years before he rolled into Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studio in New Orleans and cut the epochal "Tutti Frutti" in the fall of 1955, but everything else he'd done – and much of what others had recorded – faded into insignificance when Richard wailed "A wop bop a loo mop a lomp bomp bomp" and kicked off one of the first great wailers in rock history. In retrospect, Little Richard's style doesn't seem so strikingly innovative as captured in 1956's Here's Little Richard – his boogie-woogie piano stylings weren't all that different from what Fats Domino had been laying down since 1949, and his band pumped out the New Orleans backbeat that would define the Crescent City's R&B for the next two decades, albeit with precision and plenty of groove.
Soul/blues singer whose style is characterized by a gritty, impassioned vocal style and precise, textured guitar playing.He may not be a household name, but die-hard blues fans know Little Milton as a superb all-around electric bluesman – a soulful singer, an evocative guitarist, an accomplished songwriter, and a skillful bandleader. He's often compared to the legendary B.B. King – as well as Bobby "Blue" Bland – for the way his signature style combines soul, blues, and R&B, a mixture that helped make him one of the biggest-selling bluesmen of the '60s (even if he's not as well-remembered as King). As time progressed, his music grew more and more orchestrated, with strings and horns galore. He maintained a steadily active recording career all the way from his 1953 debut on Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label, with his stunning longevity including notable stints at Chess (where he found his greatest commercial success), Stax, and Malaco.