WEST COAST GUITAR - MASTERS OF WEST COAST GUITAR 1946-1956 (4CD)
100 tracks from Gene Phillips, Pee Wee Crayton, Jimmy Nolen, Lafayette Thomas, Pete ‘Guitar’ Lewis, Willie ‘Bo’ Thomas, James Reed, Jimmy McCracklin, Jimmy Wilson, Johnny Otis, Monte Easter, Lloyd Glenn, Linda Hopkins and more….
Another tremendous set from JSP collecting here 100 smoking blues and rhythm & blues guitar tracks from the West Coast of America during the post-war boom years.
Selected and collated again by JSP’s go-to guy for blues compilations, Neil Slaven, this also features Neil’s informative and well-written liner notes. But it is in the grooves of these stirring tracks that the real gold resides.
Heavily featured among these tracks are some serious guitar legends including Pee Wee Crayton, Jimmy Nolen, Pete ‘Guitar’ Lewis, Gene Phillips, Lafayette Thomas and others, both on recordings on which they were the named artist and playing on sides behind singers and band leaders, such as the great Jimmy McCracklin, Johnny Otis, James Reed, Jimmy Wilson, Lloyd Glenn and others.
As with most previous JSP box set compilations, this also manages to incorporate into the presentation a nice mix of tracks that have acquired classic status alongside plenty of obscurities, such as Bo’s Boogie and I Don’t Know What’s Happening by Willie ’Bo’ Thomas and Blues In The Evening and New Orleans Hop by neglected LA trumpeter, vocalist and bandleader, Monte Easter.
Unlike most other JSP sets, which tend to cast their nets across a wide array of artists when telling the story of a particular musical style, time in history or locale, this selection concentrates upon a smaller coterie of featured artists and musicians. This works a treat here and helps project a representative and hugely enjoyable overview of the great sound of West Coast blues and R&B of this period.
Another fine set to collect for existing fans of the JSP series. And, if you have not bought any of their wonderful box sets before, a great place to start.
Review Date: June 2016