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  • Little Walter - Boom Boom (LP)


    Blues harmonica innovator Little Walter was a critically important creative force. Between his brilliant, combustible musicality, equally incendiary temperament, penchant for hard living, and tragic death at 37, he exerted an influence so pervasive and profound that, much like his bandstand boss Muddy Waters, he has assumed an almost mythological stature in blues hierarchy. As the first musician ever to bring the microphone right up to the harp, cupped within his hands, Little Walter was revolutionary. Prior to that breakthrough, the microphone was almost never removed from its stand; it was static, an immobile object which the performer catered to, but Little Walter completely exploded that limitation. The simple physical act alone was audacious, but Walter took it the full route, also experimenting with squeezing the most out of an amplifier, cranking it all the way up and adding distortion, introducing wild new sonic dimensions for the instrument. His development and use of these techniques were nothing short of revelatory and profoundly enhanced and expanded the entire genres impact and range. Walter’s mixture of sensitivity and technical innovation was unbeatable. His innate musicality was intimate, intense, and deeply expressive. He was able to coax an unprecedented, spectrum spanning variety of tones out of his harmonica, from explosive peaks to low, wounded subtleties. Little Walter’s mastery of both a loose, relaxed feel and dynamic musicality made for some of the finest blues records of the post war era, both his own solo sides and the trove of classic collaborations he undertook with Muddy Waters.

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