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The Best Of Elmore James Volume 2

Elmore James

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Album Review

This Great American Music Company compilation brings together Elmore James' sessions recorded for a variety of labels including Chief, Fire, and Flair. While this set may be short on James' most recognized tracks (although "Dust My Broom" and "It Hurts Me Too" are represented), it underlines 18 raw and timeless performances by this blues icon that shouldn’t be missed. The distorted amplified sound of James' slide guitar, mixing at times with pianist Johnny Jones and the raunchy saxophone of J.T. Brown, is heard on lesser-known gems "The Twelve Year Old Boy," "Coming Home," and the instrumental "Elmore's Contribution to Jazz." While the Rhino compilation The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James may serve the casual fan better, the cuts on The Best of Elmore James, Vol. 2 are still absolutely essential.


Born: 27 January 1918 in Richland, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

No two ways about it, the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period was Elmore James, hands down. Although his early demise from heart failure kept him from enjoying the fruits of the '60s blues revival as his contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf did, James left a wide influential trail behind him. And that influence continues to the present time — in approach, attitude and tone — in just about every guitar player who puts a slide on his finger and wails the blues....
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