Rarely has the primal excitement of the electric blues guitar been so voraciously and expertly illustrated on one compilation than on Screaming And Crying, renowned British blues buff Neil Slaven s monumental homage to the music which shaped both his life and a whole generation. Over three discs and 75 tracks, the set straddles the spectrum of the electrified blues which fuelled the British R&B boom of the 1960s and beyond, mixing much-feted names such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley with more deliciously obscure outings by the likes of Doctor Ross and Guitar Shorty. Slaven s liner notes outline the story behind the roughshod classics which bust out of the set, whether screaming with the joy of musical release, or crying in a pool of despair, both amplified through jacked-up guitar strings. Selections are explained using a thread which shows how the trail-blazing T-Bone Walker (represented by tracks which avoid overlap with Fantastic Voyage s much-lauded T-Bone collection You re My Best Poker Hand, FVTD099) influenced the likes of Pee Wee Crayton, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Johnny Copeland and Johnny Guitar Watson, whose aptly-named Space Guitar was obviously a big influence on Hendrix (as were many of the names on show). Noted guitar abusers are present and incorrect, including over-loading Pat Hare in James Cotton s band, Johnny Otis Pete Guitar Lewis distorting through Midnight In The Barrel House , while the mighty John Lee Hooker and Elmore James display their inimitable axe attacks on several outings. The fearsome triumvirate of Kings - B.B., Albert and Freddie - get three tracks apiece, as do Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, whose lesser-known Mad Lad is a lesson in controlled virtuosity. Other guitarists very much plugged in through the fifties to the sixties include Buddy Guy, Little Milton, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Tiny Grimes, Earl Hooker, Hop Wilson, Magic Sam, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy Reed s Eddie Taylor, Mickey Baker, Guitar Slim, Goree Carter and Ike Turner (showing how underrated his savage guitar style was). Neil Slaven has constructed a veritable dizzbuster of a collection, exuding the kind of glow and continuity which can only come from knowledge and passion. As he says in his notes, Some of these recordings have become cornerstones of a long life and not one of them has diminished with the ensuing years. That s something for you to look forward to.