T-Bone Walker was the founder of electric blues guitar playing. That's not an opinion, it's a fact, attested by later musicians from BB King and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown on down. What he did, he did within the space of a few years, back at the end of the 1940s, and it is all here, on the four CDs of The Original Source
: the original recordings of "Call It Stormy Monday", "T-Bone Shuffle", "Cold, Cold Feeling", "T-Bone Jumps Again" and dozens more. (Ninety tracks, to be precise: his entire issued output up to the end of 1951.) The primer, the first steps, John and Janet Play Electric Blues
. Relaxed yet sharp, chordally sophisticated yet blues-rich, Walker's guitar-playing is matched by his singing: his voice drifts over the surface of the music like cigarette smoke, the delivery lazy, the lyrics pungent. "If a woman says she loves you, that don't mean a thing", he advises Confused of Santa Monica. "Tell her you want a Cadillac car and a great big diamond ring". In the background two or three horns respond with mocking riffs: "Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Been there, done that". This is some of the coolest music in the whole blues catalogue, blues so laconic and world-weary that they could have been scripted by Raymond Chandler. --Tony Russell
T-Bone Walker was the inventor of the new blues, that is the blues one hears today as played by BB, Albert and Freddy King, Gatemouth Brown, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and numerous blues-influenced rock groups. T-Bone Walker was the first bluesman to play the electric guitar, a renowned showman who electrified his audiences. He is the original source. 90 tracks and a 44 page booklet make up this essential set from a true innovator.