Various Artists: Classic Harmonica Blues
When we think of blues harmonica, chances are, names like Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Junior Wells, James Cotton and Little Walter—all of the Chicago school—come to mind first. But there were and still are, of course, many others who’ve contributed to the genre, and this 20-track disc, drawn from the Folkways archives, aims to highlight some of those harp masters. Most notable is Sonny Terry, whose long-running duo with guitarist Brownie McGhee made them folk-circuit staples for years. On the chugging “Boogie Baby” and the spare, lonesome “Crow Jane Blues,” Terry carries on
a stimulating conversation with his instrument. Eddie Burns’ solo “One Way Out” bears little in common with the Allmans’ electrified burner, and John Sebastian’s “Minglewood Blues” restores that folk staple to its jugband roots.