Sunday, July 09, 2006

A guitar tone so thick, you can eat it with a fork

Howlin' Wolf - The New Howlin' Wolf Album

In 1968, all the hippie kids were into the blues via bands like Cream and Hendrix. The Chess label group decided to take advantage of this by dressing up their older artists in acid rock drag.

This, at least on the surface, seemed like a hell of a stupid idea. Wolf apparently thought so, as evidenced by the album subtitle -... and he doesn't like it, either. The anti-marketing must have worked, because this album is damn impossible to find.

Guess what? This one works a lot better than it should. I think the reason why is pretty simple. Pete Cosey and Phil Upchurch were damn good players. In fact, Pete Cosey is one of my all time guitar heroes for his later work with Miles Davis (what do you mean, you don't own Dark Magus!)

Electric Mud is the Muddy Waters version of the same project, and is the one that got the reissue and the belated critical credibility. To my ears, though, this is a far better album.

Pete Cosey is one of my house gods. Cant wait to hear this.
Great post. Only one problem though.. Any chance of a tracklisting? Many thanks. :)
You are absolutely right about this music and yes they did eventually appreciate Electric Mud but when it was released Rolling Stone magazine gave it NO STARS it is time for this release also to be given the credit it deserves, it was O.K. for Clapton, Allman and Jimmy Page to up-date the blues but NOT Howlin' Wolf ???!!!!Thank You for letting me hear this wonderful music
hey... this is one of my favorite recored ever. never heard anyone talk about it before really! i agree much better than electric mud. i always heard this referred to as the "dogshit album" ...cheers, andrew
I really dug this album, been looking for a copy for a long time and finally got to hear it. Thanks. I really like your blog. Always interesting with great comments on the music.
ooh yeah. been digging for this album for a long time. Now i can listen to it finally. Thanks for the great blog.
Thanks for this wonderfull gem,
I agree - absolut underrated.
And if someone is still searching,
the tracklisting is:

2. Tail Dragger
3. Smokestack Lightning
4.Moanin' at Midnight
5. Built for Comfort
6. Red Rooster
7. Evil
8. Down in the Bottom
9. Three Hundred Pounds of Joy
10. Back Door Man

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