Blues Guitar Greats Anthology
Delmark DE 697 (1996)
with Magic Sam, Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and more…
Chciago figures prominently in the development of blues guitar. It is here that the guitar came into its own as a lead instrument, stepping up from behind the piano to the front of the stage during the evolving urban ensemble blues of the 1950s, while the trend toward long, emotionally charged guitar solos–best epitomized by Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Luther Allison and others–began on the West Side of Chicago.
It’s remarkable that Delmark’s recordings of blues guitarists have documented the evolving art form as it has changed from the solo acoustic expression of itinerant country artists like Big Joe Williams and Sleepy John Estes, to the bliestering raw emotionalism of the West Side turks, to the latter-day urban intensity of Johnny B. Moore and Lurrie Bell — capturing arguably the best talent of this period of Chicago blues while creating some of those artists’ most memorable recordings.
— Justin O’Brien