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“Little Walter was a cool character. He had attitude, skill…the whole act, he had it down. He could play guitar, but he was a master of the harmonica. Basically, he wanted to be the stand-in for a four or five-piece horn section. People weren’t used to seeing a guy cup a microphone around a harmonica, crank it up and just blast off on these wild solos. He was practically his own band – he was certainly loud enough.
“As well as his skills on the harp, Little Walter became a fine singer. In fact, he used to be in Muddy Waters' band until he struck out to find success on his own. And he got it, too: His first big hit was a song called Juke, and it’s pretty incredible.
“You listen to eight or 10 Little Walter songs and you’ll probably have to scrape yourself off the floor or the ceiling, depending on which way the music sent you. This big ol’ box set, I can’t imagine what it would do to people hearing Little Walter for the first time. You might need some intermissions between discs just to get your senses back in working order.”