Charlie Musselwhite knows a thing or two about the "Fast life blues", a self penned song that appears on this 1978 collection. Honing his art of articulate, warm and accurate harp playing in the blues clubs of Chicago afforded him plenty of opportunity to indulge in several of your average bluesman personal entertainments. "Fast life blues" sees Charlie ending up in the detox hospital, half expecting to see any of his mates and colleagues, reflecting sadly that he has the right to sing such a cautionary song. "The Harmonica According to Charlie Musselwhite" is an album of world weary confessions and sleazy instrumentals in which the man himself emerges a little older, and wiser but his energy and passion for the blues remains undimned. His harmonica playing is a masterclass in how to mike up the instrument with no hint of gimmick or artifice. "Harpin' on a riff" is a furious opening instrumental, which brilliantly melds country and urban blues stylings around the riff of the title, anchored in bronco buckin' r&b. "Run here mama" is slow and lascivious, Charlie urges his "mama" to roll on "your side babe/and raise your knees". "Pistol in your face" is the spiteful cowboy side of Charlie, his harp snorting like a mean horse. Musselwhite's singing voice is rather restricted but has at times growling plaintiveness when it matters and is seductive in the more moody sections. Although he's not as rounded in his eclecticism as in his later, more mature and sober middle age, this is a gutsy and tight little album. Also recommended for the jangly, slightly drunken patchwork of guitars courtesy of Stefan Grossman and Sam Taylor.