The album is a homage to the lyrical and inventive harp player whose music spontaneously combusts every time the speaker is turned on. Giles and Chris open this journey with Juke the only harmonica instrumental ever to be a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B chart staying at the top spot for 8 weeks in 1952. The number launched Little Walter’s career and launches the album. It is fitting that the package is closed out with Off The Wall, a second chart hit for Little Walter in 1952.
The album as you would expect is a collection of Little Walter classics for these two proponents of blues to deliver with their stamp of approval and style. Into the mix an original composed by Robson & Corcoran, Mr Jacobs. The original number gives the duo a free rein to explore the tonal palette of Little Walter. This they capture perfectly aided by creating a vintage tone with their Honeyboy Amps, The reworking of the guitar-led Lafayette’s Thomas’ Deep South Guitar Blues gives the number new direction and shape. Here Chris’ guitar work has a true sting in its tale underpinning Giles’ harmonica that screams the blues. The reprise of Mr Jacobs the deep blues guitar from Chris giving the number a bass driving shape that allows Giles to use the harmonica to be the vehicle to outpour his blues prowess with pure passion.
When you listen you know this is played by inspired bluesmen. They have not covered the number they have added their own personal zing. Every number is interpreted differently, always harmonica led as you would expect. The guitar throughout adds a deeper tone and inner calmness as Chris accompanies Giles on Lights Out. On Back Track, the harmonica soars curling around the notes Little Walter made his own, and it is the guitar licks that add that dimension breathing life into a classic.
Throughout the album, the partnership of Giles and Chris is a perfect coming together of two fine musicians playing their preferred instrument with style and flourish. This is no competition, no race to outdo each other, this is working together to squeeze all the emotion out of the notes and paying true homage to a blues great. They have taken, the genius, strength and spontaneity of Little Walter and shaped the tunes into a different shape without losing the essence of the originals. The driving force is the passion for the blues and love of the instruments they play, the Honeyboy Amps giving a deep vintage tone.
This is a torrent of stupendous blues-harp from Giles as he shapes the notes around the stunning guitar from Chris Corcoran, the shaping of the tonal textures is inspirational across the tracks. Instrumentals that conjures up colours, shapes and textures that you can hear sometimes there is no need for words and this is one of them. Giles and Chris have created a true Roller Coaster ride of musical delights. A definite for lovers of blues-harp played with soul and passion.
EIGHTdoodle paws out of TEN …
Deep South Guitar Blues
Mr Jacobs (Reprise)
Off The Wall
Giles Robson – Harmonica
Chris Corcoran – Guitar
Recorded at The Shack Studio, Essex by Paul Richardson