Blues, Hot and Home Fried

PERFORMER: ELMORE JAMES

ALBUM: ELMORE JAMES, KING OF THE SLIDE GUITAR

LABEL: CAPRICORN

THE BOTTOM LINE: These 50 historic sides are still fierce enough to fry the chip in your CD player.

THE MUSIC HISTORIES CALL THIS blues, but it sounds like hellfire and burns like brimstone.

And that means these 50 sides are some definitive blues: great blues, in the great tradition. Elmore James, who was born in Mississippi in 1918 and died in Chicago in 1963, led the archetypal bluesman's life: he rambled around the Delta with Robert Johnson in the '30s, played juke joints in the '40s, had...

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