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April 2001

Carey Bell/Lazy Lester/Raful Neal/Snooky Pryor
Superharps II
Telarc

Veteran harmonica players Carey Bell, Lazy Lester, Raful Neal and Snooky Pryor join forces on Superharps II. A follow-up to 1999's spirited Superharps (featuring James Cotton, Billy Branch, Charlie Musselwhite and Sugar Ray Norcia), this one is a master class on the art of the Mississippi saxophone. The elder statesman here is the 80-year-old Pryor, a disciple of Sonny Boy Williamson II from Lambert, Miss. He is showcased on his rowdy original "Let Your Hair Down," then teams up with Baton Rouge-born Lazy Lester on a rousing "Shake My Hand" and "Blood Stains on the Wall." Chicago icon Carey Bell (born in Macon, Miss.) kicks off the collection with a vibrant version of Muddy Waters' "Walkin' Thru the Park" and teams with Pryor on the raucous shuffle "Keyhole in Your Door" and "She's Nineteen Years Old." Neal, the youngster of the session at 64, is showcased on the slow blues "I Miss You Baby" and teams with Lazy Lester on his "Starlight Diamond." All four harmonica greats get together on the slow blues finale, "Harp to Harp." The backing band-Kid Bangham on guitar, Anthony Geraci on piano, Michael "Mudcat" Ward on bass and Per Hanson on drums-provides solid accompaniment along with a few sizzling solos (from Bangham).

Originally published in April 2001
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