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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Grammy Nomination for "Remembering Little Walter"!
Blind Pig Records' Remembering Little Walter release received a Grammy nomination for "Best Blues Album," as announced Friday night by the Recording Academy.  The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles.  Remembering Little Walter is a tribute to Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and blues icon Little Walter Jacobs from five of the greatest harmonica players currently on the blues scene - Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Mark Hummel, James Harman, and Sugar Ray Norcia.
On this one-of-a-kind live harp showcase, each artist performs two tracks from Jacobs' discography, then they collaborate on a spirited, jamming finale of Walter's signature tune, "My Babe." Backing throughout is crisp and solid, featuring Little Charlie Baty, world renowned guitar slinger and former bandleader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats.
The virtuosic Little Walter is without doubt one of the most influential blues harmonica players of all time. AllMusicGuide said, "The fiery harmonica wizard took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy. His daring instrumental innovations were so fresh, startling, and ahead of their time.  His influence remains inescapable to this day -- it's unlikely that a blues harpist exists on the face of this earth who doesn't worship Little Walter."
Said Hummel, "Walter changed all the rules and raised the bar so high that nobody has yet surpassed him either in innovation or technical prowess.  Walter's original sides have become the holy grail all other harpers are still trying to aspire to."   Regarding the nomination, he said, "I was so proud of both the performances that everyone gave on this disc and the mixing that Kid Andersen accomplished that the Grammy nod was simply icing on an already delicious cake but tasty frosting it is! I can't express how happy I am for this great Blind Pig project."
Two of the artists on the recording, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Boy Arnold, actually knew and played with Little Walter. Charlie recalls that Walter "started phrasing on harmonica like a saxophone. This phrasing combined with his creativity and amplification really took harmonica playing to a whole new level that hadn't been heard before." Arnold adds, "He was miles ahead of all the other harp players on the scene. No one could touch him. He was creative, innovative, and spontaneous. Little Walter is still the top and most influential harp player that ever played."
Musselwhite had this to say about the nomination, "It feels real good to be able to show Walter this respect. It's such a shame that he didn't live to see the respect he earned and get the payback he deserves, but at least now I hope with 'Remembering Little Walter' we can spread the word to more folks and help keep his contribution to blues alive. I can see Walter's smile now."
Musselwhite and Arnold are joined here by three other harpists, each renowned in his own right. Producer Mark Hummel has toured and recorded with Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Charles Brown, Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Rogers and many other blues legends. James Harman has been a mainstay on the scene for forty years, having played with everyone from Canned Heat to ZZ Top. Sugar Ray Norcia is best known for his lengthy tenure with the acclaimed Roomful of Blues and with the Bluetones.
Living Blues magazine said of the release, "With a veteran lineup like this and such rich source material to pull from, the live album sounds just as good as one would expect," while No Depression magazine called it "an unequaled evening of reed-bending ecstasy."

To see a series of videos from the Little Walter tribute show, please visit the Blind Pig YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

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