Just Wailing

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 11 Mar 2013

'All of the harmonica heroes of the blues boom are present and correct' Mojo 4/5

'There are plenty of belters not easily found elsewhere on blues harp collections' Red Lick

'The soundscape is wonderfully varied' Souljazzandfunk.com

'Probably the best compilation of post-war blues harmonica highlights ever assembled. Highly recommended' Blues & Rhythm


CAT No: FVDD157UPC TEXT: 5055311001579

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50 Masterpieces By 26 Blues Harmonica Heroes

There’s nothing to compare to the sound of an amplified Hohner Marine Band harmonica in the hands (and mouth) of a master like Little Walter, Walter Horton, Snooky Pryor or Sonny Boy Williamson. All of them were just as adept with the unamplified specimen but the addition of electricity takes this miniscule instrument into a different realm. Many musicians heard here were disciples in one way or another of John Lee Williamson (the original Sonny Boy), who played his harp through a microphone in clubs but never recorded that way. The list of these men is a long one, including Billy Boy Arnold, Walter Mitchell, Doctor Ross, Forrest City Joe and Robert Richard, while Little Walter influenced younger men like Junior Wells, Jerry McCain, James Cotton and George Smith.

Like Fantastic Voyage’s best selling guitar-centric companion compilation Screaming And Crying, the tracks assembled by blues authority Neil Slaven for Just Wailing were selected for their musical value. Some are obscure but no less forceful for that. Some, like Little Walter’s ‘Juke’ and ‘Blues With A Feeling’, Billy Boy Arnold’s ‘I Wish You Would’ and ‘I Ain’t Got You’, Slim Harpo’s ‘Got Love If You Want It’, Lazy Lester’s ‘Sugar Coated Love’, Sonny Boy’s evocative ‘Mighty Long Time’, Junior Wells’ ‘Calling All Blues’ and Sammy Myers’ ‘My Love Is Here To Stay’, will be familiar to fans of the gob-iron. By contrast, you’ll be fortunate to discover Louis Myers’ ‘Just Whaling’, Sonny Boy’s ‘Chicken’, Jimmy Reed’s ‘Jimmy’s Boogie’, Hot Shot Love’s ‘Harmonica Jam’, Papa Lightfoot’s ‘Wine, Women And Whiskey’, and Walter Horton’s accompaniments for Otis Spann, Johnny Shines and Jimmy Rogers.

One of the most intriguing things you’ll discover during this set’s two-hours-plus presentation is the individuality of each performer’s approach to the harp. None, with the possible exception of Little Walter sideman Louis Myers, sounds anything other than original, which given the instrument’s limitations, is a significant achievement. If you’re coming fresh to this aspect of the blues, we can only echo the catchphrase of wartime comedian Tommy Trinder, “You lucky people”.



  1. Boogie (Little Walter)
  2. Chicken (Baby Boy Warren feat. Sonny Boy Williamson)
  3. Just Whaling (Louis Myers)
  4. I Wish You Would (Billy Boy Arnold)
  5. My Love Is Here To Stay (Sammy Myers)
  6. I Got Love If You Want It (Slim Harpo)
  7. Jimmy’s Boogie (Jimmy Reed)
  8. Snooky And Moody’s Boogie (Snooky Pryor and Moody Jones)
  9. Country Boy Blues (Pee Wee Hughes)
  10. Little Walter’s Boogie (Walter Horton)
  11. Worried All The Time (Howlin’ Wolf)
  12. Wine, Women, Whiskey (Papa Lightfoot)
  13. Sharp Harp (Champion Jack Dupree feat. George Smith)
  14. She May Be Yours (Joe Hill Louis)
  15. Junior’s Wail (Junior Wells)
  16. That’s What They Want (Jerry McCain)
  17. Easy (Jimmy DeBerry and Walter Horton)
  18. Blues With A Feeling (Little Walter)
  19. Come Back Baby (Doctor Ross)
  20. Be My Baby (Sunnyland Slim feat. Snooky Pryor)
  21. Going Crazy (Pete “Guitar” Lewis)
  22. Pet Milk Blues (Walter Mitchell)
  23. Sugar Coated Love (Lazy Lester)
  24. Harmonica Jam (Hot Shot Love)
  25. Ride And Roll (Sonny Terry)


  1. Juke (Little Walter)
  2. Mighty Long Time (Sonny Boy Williamson)
  3. I’m Leaving You (Otis Spann feat. Walter Horton)
  4. Judgement Day (Snooky Pryor)
  5. Juke Box Boogie (Doctor Ross)
  6. She Lived Her Life Too Fast (Forrest City Joe)
  7. Sleeping In The Ground (Sammy Myers)
  8. Floyd’s Blues (Floyd Jones feat. Snooky Pryor)
  9. Baby Tell Me Your Name (Sammy Lewis and Willie Johnson)
  10. Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide (Sonny Boy Williamson)
  11. Evening Sun (Johnny Shines feat. Walter Horton)
  12. Steady (Jerry McCain)
  13. I Ain’t Got You(Billy Boy Arnold)
  14. She Don’t Want Me No More (Jimmy Reed)
  15. Calling All Blues (Earl Hooker and Junior Wells)
  16. Walking By Myself (Jimmy Rogers feat. Walter Horton)
  17. I Got To Find My Baby (Little Walter)
  18. Jack Pot (Joe Hill Louis)
  19. Come On In This House (Junior Wells)
  20. Baker Shop Boogie (Willie Nix feat. James Cotton)
  21. Wigwam Woman (Robert Richard)
  22. Moody Blues (Slim Harpo)
  23. Highway My Friend (Howlin’ Wolf)
  24. Trust My Baby (Sonny Boy Williamson)
  25. Jumpin’ With Jarvis (Papa Lightfoot)