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Howlin' Wolf

Boy, You Got The Blues There Vol. 1 (vinyl record)

Review by Gary Hill

This ten-inch, 45 RPM record features some alternate takes and unreleased songs from Howlin' Wolf. I love the raw blues edge that the music has. It's perhaps even more interesting when it takes on jazz concepts. The recordings here were lost for years, and at times they seem to have not fared all that well over that time, but that's not something that's true of all of it. Besides, this stuff is strong enough that it's worth dealing with to hear them. This also includes a cool booklet.

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Track by Track Review
Side 1
(Everybody's) In The Mood

Harmonica brings this in. The cut works out from there with a classy old school blues sound. There is some classy jamming on this tune. The recording seems to have some issues, but the instrumental section that ensues late really shines, anyway.

My Last Affair
There is an unusual mixing of sounds here. There is a chaotic element to this along with plenty of jazz. This feels almost punky in some ways.
Look-A-Here Baby
Jazz and guitar blues merge on this driving piece. It's one of my favorites on this record. It really rocks.
How Many More Years
More pure blues based, I love the rocking guitar sound on this. The blues harp playing is on fire, too.
Bluebird Blues
I really dig the piano that starts this. The harmonica shines, too. Overall, the whole song has a killer blues groove to it.
Side 2
Oh Red (take 2)

There is a fun groove to this. It feels almost Dixieland in some ways. There is some killer horn blowing, and the whole tune just entertains and gels.

Chocolate Drop
Killer guitar blues is on the menu here. It has both harmonica magic and some great piano. It's another classy and classic blues romp.
My Troubles And Me
More of a driving guitar, harmonica and vocal based blues tune, this is packed full of style and charm.
I Got A Woman / Sweet Woman
The classic traditional blues sound is all over this. It's another driving number that works so well.
California Boogie
I love the piano and guitar on this track so much. The track isn't a big change, but it's another effective piece of blues.

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