“Moanin’ At Midnight”

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Howlin’ Wolf
The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

One of the best blind buys I’ve ever made – and as a high school music nerd on a fast food salary, I made many – was this Chess Records Howlin’ Wolf compilation. And one of my fondest musical memories is hearing the first few seconds of “Moanin’ At Midnight” — which dates to 1959 if my Wikipedia sleuthing is correct — for the first time. The sinister fade-in, the way the mics distort as the band builds energy, the fact that dude is literally howling at you from an era long past. Unbelievable, chills-down-the-spine stuff. Chester Burnett was a force of nature; there’s no blues artist living or dead I’d rather listen to. As Sam Phillips was quoted, “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.’” I can do no better.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20Moanin’%20At%20Midnight.mp3]

iTunes/Amazon

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