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sábado, 27 de agosto de 2016

Johnny 'Guitar' Watson • The Best Of The Modern Years

Review by Sean Westergaard
Although Johnny "Guitar" Watson had already recorded some sides for Federal (including the astonishing instrumental "Space Guitar"), the majority of those tunes featured the piano-playing Young John Watson. It was when he began recording for the Bihari Brothers' RPM subsidiary of Modern Records that he "became" Johnny "Guitar" Watson and his amazing legacy really began. The songs are solid West Coast blues, but they're brought to the next level by Watson's impassioned vocals and his incredible biting, staccato guitar solos. Watson's tenure at RPM was short-lived (as were most of his label relationships) and all these tracks were recorded in 1955, but they were wildly influential on a number of great guitarists and still hold their power 50 years down the road. This material has been released umpteen times over the years, but the remastering of this compilation has more clarity and warmth than the others. Johnny "Guitar" Watson recorded some great material for a variety of labels, but the real meat of his blues legacy is on these RPM sides. Fans of tough '50s blues and great blues guitar owe it to themselves to check this stuff out. Recommended.


Johnny "Guitar" Watson was still relatively close to the beginning of his career when he started recording for a subsidiary of Modern Records in the mid 1950s. In fact, it was really at Modern that Watson established his trademark guitar attack and laid-back vocal style. Watson wasn't at Modern very long, but the sides he waxed had a tremendous impact on the emerging electric blues scene.
Watson was a truly dazzling guitarist, melding jazz licks and experimental sounds into his blues, and while his career would continue well into the '90s, these classic tracks--which might be said to contain the blueprint for all of Watson's work that would follow--still stand tall in his discography. Heightened in value by its fine remastering, this excellent compilation comes highly recommended to Watson fans, and to fans of raw electric blues in general.
Liner Note Author: Billy Vera.

01. Hot Little Mama
02. I Love To Love You
03. Don't Touch Me
04. Too Tired
05. Those Lonely, Lonely Nights
06. Someone Cares For Me
07. Oh, Baby
08. Give A Little
09. Three Hours Past Midnight
10. Ruben
11. Love Me, Baby
12. She Moves Me
13. Love Bandit (aka Gangster Of Love)
14. Lonely Girl
15. Ain't Gonna Hush
16. Hot Little Mama No.2
17. I Love To Love You
18. Three Hours Past Midnight

Personnel: Johnny "Guitar" Watson (vocals, guitar); Johnny "Guitar" Watson; Cordella DeMilo, Cordella De Milo (vocals); Rene Hall (guitar); Maxwell Davis, Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis (tenor saxophone); Jewell L. Grant (baritone saxophone); Ralph Hamilton (bass instrument); Jesse Price (drums); Jim Wynn (baritone saxophone); James Parr (trumpet); Willard McDaniel (piano); Jesse Sailes (drums).
Arranger: Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis .

Release: 2005
Label: Metro Blue
Genre: Blues, R&B
Total Time: 00:51:25

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