Digitally re-mastered and expanded edition including 15 bonus tracks. Howlin' Wolf was one of the greatest characters and most electrifying performers in Blues history. He was an imposing presence, blessed with a thunderous voice, enormous physical strength, and a pair of lungs that would not quit. Wolf didn't just startle audiences, he menaced them into submission. In addition to his powerful voice, he was also an accomplished harmonica player. This quintessential collector's edition contains Howlin' Wolf's outstanding debut album for Chess Records, Moanin' in the Moonlight, one of the all-time cornerstones of the genre. We have also included 15 bonus tracks (gathering a variety of those great sides he recorded between 1951 and 1960), making this the definitive edition of Wolf's Blues masterpiece.
Part of the Chess 50th Anniversary Collection series, this digitally remastered set contains 20 of Howlin' Wolf's biggest and best Chess label recordings including "Spoonful", "The Red Rooster", "Killing Floor" and "Smokestack Lightning". Packaging features great new liner notes and graphics.
Howlin' Wolf may be gone, but his spirit lives on, as this 13-track tribute album featuring members of the Wolf's own band attests. Sam Lay, Eddie Shaw, Hubert Sumlin, and the rest are as tight and smooth as they ever were playing behind Howlin' Wolf, and they've got an array of guest stars to do the Wolf proud. Taj Mahal (sounding a good bit like Wolf himself) is here, as are guitar-slinger Debbie Davies and multi-instrumentalist Kenny Neal. Lucinda Williams does a bluesy turn, and there are contributions from Lucky Peterson, James Cotton, and more. The CD features plenty of Wolf favorites, including "Saddle My Pony," "Howlin' for My Darling," "The Red Rooster," "Howlin' Wolf Boogie," and "Smokestack Lightnin'," among others. All in all, it's a fitting tribute to a man whose contribution to the blues is immeasurable.
Where Chess' two-volume Muddy Waters anthology His Best was divided according to chronological guidelines, the Howlin' Wolf series of the same name follows a different pattern. His Best, Vol. 1 contained all of the Wolf's best-known songs – as if the label never planned a sequel. Consequently, when it came time to assemble Vol. 2, they had two major items ("The Natchez Burning," "Down in the Bottom") that didn't make the first cut, a take of "The Red Rooster" with dialogue, plus a host of songs familiar to Wolf fans, but not casual blues fans. Since Chester Burnett was one of the greatest bluesmen in history, these second-tier songs aren't castoffs – they're forgotten or unappreciated classics. They might not be as monumental as the songs on His Best, Vol. 1, yet they're great songs, making His Best, Vol. 2 an excellent complement to its essential predecessor.
Widely regarded as one of Canada's best jazz singers, Russian-born, Toronto-based vocalist Sophie Milman changes tact slightly for her fourth studio album, In the Moonlight. The twinkling piano chords, shuffling, brushed stroke rhythms, and gentle brass instrumentation which defined her previous output are still very much in evidence, but having traveled to New York to record with producer Matt Pierson (Jane Monheit, Michael Franks), the Juno Award winner has capitalized on the opportunity to expand her sound by inviting a string ensemble on board for the first time in her career. However, avoiding the temptation to smother the timeless, smoky, jazz bar arrangements in layers of bombastic layers of strings, the pair only use their newly recruited musicians sparingly and when needed, with only the Duke Ellington standards "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Day Dream," and the Umbrellas of Cherbourg number "Watch What Happens" offering anything more than the occasional orchestral flourish.
Funky blues work from Howlin Wolf – his key entry into the funked-up genre that Chess Records was cutting at the end of the 60s with other blues artists like Etta James, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters! As on records with those artists, Wolf's older modes are updated here for a hipper, younger audience – backed up with a bouncing batch of electrified backings arranged by Sonny Thompson, and conducted by Thompson and Cash McCall, the latter of whom is most likely playing a bit of guitar here. Tracks are a bit longer than usual, and filled with plenty of heavy guitar bits next to the vocals – and titles include "I Smell A Rat", "Miss James", "If I Were A Bird", "She's Lookin Good", "Turn Me On", and "Message To The Young".