Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mark Hummel Leads Memorable Little Walter Tribute CD

Mark Hummel has put together blues harmonica tributes for quite sometime and a live concert recording that Blind Pig has just issued Remembering Little Walter, has Hummel and fellow harmonica masters Billy Boy Arnold, Charlie Musselwhite, James Harman and Sugar Ray Norcia each handling a couple of vocals as well as share vocals and harmonica on a closing “My Babe. They are backed by an outstanding band of Little Charlie Baty and Nathan James on guitar, RW Grigsby on bass and Junior Core on drums. 

You know this band is good when one notices Core’s marvelous support behind Hummel on the opening I Got To Go, as well as the guitars light support behind Musselwhite on Just a Feeling. Then there is the terrific shuffle groove behind Arnold on You’re So Fine, with Baty and James channeling Robert Lockwood Jr and Luther Tucker as Core drives things in the manner of Fred Below. Performances by Harman and Norcia are similarly well played, paced, and enjoyable.

Musselwhite, along with Arnold, were the only of the participants to have actually known Little Walter, but it is impossible to play blues harmonica today without being touched by Walter’s mastery and the other three all have assimilated Walter’s style while creating their own blues visions which are quite evident on the consistently excellent renditions of Little Walter’s classic blues recordings presented on this exceptional blues recording.

I received this from Blind Pig. Here is Mark Hummel doing a Little Walter tune.


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