This release marks the continuation of the fine Vanguard Session series and picks up the blues story in the 1960s. The Godfather of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, sings with the dynamic grace of a disciplined instrumentalist on "Nineteen Years Old," while two live tracks feature the influential guitar stylists: Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins with "Baby Please Don't Go" and John Lee Hooker with "I Can't Quit You Baby/Stop Now Baby."
Experiencing his greatest commercial success in the 1990s (thanks to Stevie Ray Vaughan), Buddy Guy contributes four solo tracks plus "Vietcong Blues" with the late great Junior Wells.
John Hammond Jr., Robbie Robertson, Charlie Musslewhite and Michael Bloomfield are represented on three cuts from their infamous 1965 release "So Many Roads," which includes "Long Distance Call," "Who Do You Love" and "Rambling Blues." Also pickin'-a-thang on this 77 minute and 11 second CD is Otish Rush, Homesick James and His Dusters, J.B. Hutto and His Hawks and the Siegel-Schwall Band.
"Frett'n the Blues" reflects the rich history of the six-string blues and documents a moment when the young guns were playing alongside the giants. The series is recorded from the original analog tapes and then converted to 20-bit digital audio. And for the finicky audiophile, the bass that was rolled off the original vinyl release has been restored.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.