This month, we welcome back an old friend of the Ace catalogue, in a more shelf friendly format. Our Elmore James boxed set was a staple of the Ace catalogue for more than a decade, and it remains an essential item for all who love Elmore’s tortured vocals and slashing guitar work and the tightly focused musicianship of the guys who comprised the personnel of his Broomdusters – not to mention ‘that’ ever-present lick, which launched a thousand riffs.
Elmore’s Flair and Meteor 78s and 45s completely redefined the guitar’s role in black American music. Track for track and version for version, the recordings that Elmore made for the Bihari brothers are the definitive ones.
Anyone who has collected blues recordings since the 60s will tell you that if you don’t have a little Elmore in your stack, you can’t really call yourself a blues fan.
By Tony Rounce