Having previously heard only snippets of Howling Wolf songs, I bought this CD because it had good reviews and seemed a cheap way of hearing a lot more from the man.
Unusually for me when I play a new CD (by any artist), I loved it from first play, and as each song progressed, I eagerly awaited the next.
I was immediately struck by how much Mr Wolf had influenced other artists. There are songs on here which if they had Mick Jaggers voice would fit very nicely on "Exile on Main Street", particularly I thought, "Do the Do". In fact the sound is so similar, that it's hard to imagine how "Exile" could have existed without Howling Wolf. Of course the Stones did have a number one hit with another song here, "Little Red Rooster", but that was much earlier in their career.
Apparently Howling Wolf hired only the very best musicians, and it is apparent here, most tracks are very tight and strong. However, it's the voice which above all really hits you, incredibly powerful. "Smokestack Lightnin'" stands out as an example, but there are so many great vocals. I particularly like "Down in the Bottom", "How many more years" and "Killing Floor".
There is the occasional track which I'm not so keen on, I think that the middle three or four tracks are weaker than the rest, but still good, and overall I have to give it a score of 5. I can't compare it to other Howling Wolf CDs, but for the price, it's well worth the investment and I thoroughly recommend it.