gettin' together

Blues For Big Walter

Various Artists

Ellersoul Records 2016

Review by David Bowling


Big Walter Horton, 1921-1981, was a musician that floated under the radar for most of his career, but by people in the know, he was recognized as one of the premier harmonica players of the 20th century.

His first recording was in 1939 as a sideman for blues guitarist Little Buddy Doyle and he would continue to support leading bluesmen for the next three decade. As I solo artist he was signed to the fledging and soon to be famous Sun label.

Now a number of musicians and especially harmonica players have joined together to recreate his sound and honor his legacy. A virtual army of artists are on board to bring this tribute to fruition. Ronnie Owens, Kim Wilson, Mark Wenner, Andrew Ali, and Sugar Ray Norcia all bring their harmonica skills to modernize the blues.

My only criticism is when I open the fold-out package, there is blue printing against a black background, which I simply cannot read without putting it five inches from my face or getting out the old magnifying glass.

Blues For Big Walter is a fitting tribute to a musician who is many times forgotten today. Best of all, it contains some very good music.

Rating: ***