Charlie Musselwhite's DELUXE EDITION features the cream of his highly-acclaimed Alligator releases, two of which, Signature and In My Time, were Grammy nominees. Also included are two previously unreleased tracks--one from Charlie's personal collection and another from the In My Time sessions. All music has been digitally remastered in 24-bit audio, and includes never-before-published photos and a special mini-poster insert.
Guitar: Andrew Jones, Jr. (1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,13); Charlie Musselwhite (4,11,14); Mike 'Junior' Watson (5,12)
Piano: Gene Taylor (5,12)
Bass: Artis Joyce (1,2,3,6,8,9,10,13); Felton Crews (7); Larry Taylor (5,12)
Drums: Tommy Hill (1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10,13); Steven Hodges (5,12)
Vocals: The Blind Boys Of Alabama (4): Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter, Curtis Foster, and Bobby Butler; Will Shade (14)
Horns (9) arranged by Art Baron: Art Baron, Trombone Lenny Pickett, Tenor and Baritone Saxes Lou Soloff, Trumpet
Tracks 1, 2, 10 & 11 produced by Pat Ford and engineered by Bruce Kaphan at Music Annex, Menlo Park CA. Mixed by Jay Shilliday at One Pass Studios, San Francisco, CA, 1990.
Tracks 3, 8, 9 & 13 produced by Charlie Musselwhite and engineered by Jay Shilliday at The Plant, Sausalito, CA; Editel, San Francisco, CA; Studio D, Sausalito, CA, and Sear Sound, New York, NY and mixed by Jay Shilliday, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Iglauer and Jim Capfer at Skywalker Sound, San Rafael, CA, 1991. Assistant recording engineers: Larry Brewer, Drew Waters, Tony Eckert and Fred Kevorkian. Assistant mixing engineers: M.T. Silvia and Craig Silvey.
Tracks 4,5,6,7&12 produced by Kevin Morrow and engineered and mixed by Sam Lehmer at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, CA, 1994. Assistant engineers: Bob Conlan and Scott Strain. Track 6 mixed by Sam Fishkin at Rax Trax, Chicago, IL, 2004.
Track 14 from the personal collection of Charlie Musselwhite.
Re-mastered for the Deluxe Edition at Colossal Mastering, Chicago, IL by Dan Stout and Bruce Iglauer. Deluxe Edition series produced by Bob DePugh, Bruce Iglauer and David Forte. Design Production by Kevin Niemiec Deluxe Edition series design by David Forte Cover photo by Pierre Degeneffe Back cover photo by Chuck Winans Back book & tray photo by Peter Amft
Very Special Thanks to Henrietta Musselwhite
Like the great bluesmen that preceded him, Charlie Musselwhite's roots lie deep in the South. Though he's often mentioned in the same breath as the other young, white players who introduced the blues to a worldwide popular audience in the mid 1960s, Charlie is really cut from a different cloth. He didn't learn the blues from records or the radio, or by taking pilgrimages to South Side Chicago clubs from his middle class home. Born in the Mississippi hill country in 1944, he grew up poor in Memphis. His first blues teachers were the acoustic bluesmen who had been local stars in the 1920s and '30s, like guitarist Furry Lewis and Will Shade, the harmonica-blowing leader of the Memphis Jug Band. Charlie played country blues guitar and harp as a teenager, but that wasn't how he made his living. Instead, he ran moonshine from the backwoods to Memphis at $50 a trip. After a brush with the law, he headed to Chicago for the same reason as other Southerners-to find a better job.
Living in the heart of the South Side ghetto, Charlie toiled as an exterminator while sitting in with the great Chicago bands, jamming regularly with Johnny Young, Robert Nighthawk, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams, Otis Spann and Floyd Jones. He was tutored on harp by another pupil of Will Shade's--the immortal Big Walter Horton, whose melodic sound became part of Charlie's style. It was with Horton that he made his first recordings, in 1966 on Vanguard Records' groundbreaking Chicago!/The Blues!/Today! series. Charlie won a contract with Vanguard and broke onto the national scene with his 1967 Stand Back! album. Leading a series of all-star bands, he hit the road, and ended up moving to California. But he's spent most of his life on tour, cementing his position as one of the finest harmonica players in the world. He's introduced jazz chord voicings, Cuban rhythms and the lyrics of Americana singer-songwriters into blues. Over his 40-year career, Charlie has cut two dozen solo albums. Between 1990 and 1994, he recorded three of his finest for Alligator, ACE OF HARPS, SIGNATURE and IN MY TIME.
For this collection, Charlie gave us an unreleased track 'Lotsa Poppa,' from the IN MY TIME sessions. He also donated an early 1960s home recording of Will Shade giving him pointers on guitar and then singing with the teenage Charlie accompanying. As Charlie recalls: 'Will Shade lived near the corner of 4th and Beale St. He played guitar and harmonica and I loved hanging out at his place. We would spend the day talking and passing the Golden Harvest Sherry wine around as musician visitors would come and go all day and into the night. They were all stopping by to pay their respects, have 'a taste' and jam. Will was an important harp player, one of the first to start playing blues harp as an instrument instead of a toy to make sound effects. I feel very privileged to have known and learned from Big Walter Horton and Will Shade. It's like getting the 'transmission' or the secret handshake.' --Bruce Iglauer