This disc is a fine portrait of Chicago blues — past and present. Award-winning harpist Billy Branch and legendary giant of the famed Howlin’ Wolf Band, Hubert Sumlin, here join hands with some of the finest contemporary musicians in the Windy City — among them: Willie Kent, John Primer, Johnny B. Moore, and Carl Weathersby. Sumlin offers two superb band tracks as well as five acoustic duets with guitarist John Primer. In addition, there are four Billy Branch numbers that recast the work of Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Reed, and Little Walter without ever becoming slavish. The dual-guitar work of Johnny B. Moore and John Primer is exceptional.
Born: November 16, 1931 in Greenwood, MS
Years Active: ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s
Quiet and extremely unassuming off the bandstand, Hubert Sumlin played a style of guitar incendiary enough to stand tall beside the immortal Howlin’ Wolf. The Wolf was Sumlin’s imposing mentor for more than two decades, and it proved a mutually beneficial relationship; Sumlin’s twisting, darting, unpredictable lead…