Charlie Musselwhite's rural innocence and Anglo complexion made him an anomaly when he left Memphis at eighteen to educate himself at the foot of Chicago blues legends Junior Wells, James Cotton, Big Walter "Shakey" Horton and Little Walter. But within four years, the harp-blowing prodigy had not only befriended and jammed with every luminary from Big Joe Williams to Muddy Waters, he'd debuted with a breakthrough album titled Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band. Despite it's misspelling, the disc garnered critical accolades and soon linked Musselwhite to Paul Butterfield as one of the most important figures in the white-blues movement of the mid- to late '60s. A decade later, Musselwhite's trademark dark suit and sunglasses even inspired Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi (for better or worse) to pursue secondary vocations. With his own storied career spanning forty years and 34 records, the world-weary Musselwhite is coming off a banner year: In addition to scoring Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer's upcoming film, Black Snake Moan, he's just released the trance-inducing Delta Hardware. Looks like there's just no keepin' "Memphis Charlie" down.
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