Produced by Rob Fraboni, Sumlin is joined by guests Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, David Johansen and Levon Helm.
Hubert Sumlin's famed for the shimmying riffs he laid all over classic Howlin' Wolf
songs like "Killing Floor" and "Shake for Me," yet this excellent disc--which teams the 73-year-old firebrand with pals Eric Clapton
, Keith Richards
, James Cotton
, Bob Margolin
, and a host of other veterans--is a rocking, soulful tribute to another of his employers, Muddy Waters
. Clapton bites into the licks and lyrics of Waters's "I'm Ready" and "Long-Distance Call," joining Sumlin in a passionate séance that raises the great spirits of '50s Chicago blues. Richards and Sumlin have an insouciant rapport that makes the stark "Still a Fool" and "Little Girl, This Is the End" sound like late-night conversations between lost, lonely hearts. But the real star is Sumlin, whose string sliding, deep tone, dizzy vibrato, acrobatic note bending, and tense, wily phrasing still sound as entirely original and vigorous as they did nearly a half-century ago. Buy this album--now. --Ted Drozdowski