Before his untimely death in 1963, blues guitarist Elmore James was one of the most influential players in the genre, with a distinctive sound that would inspire everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan
to the Rolling Stones
. Though he covered a variety of different blues styles throughout the 1950s, his unique, amped-up tone came from a standard acoustic guitar that he had modified with electric pick-ups. This two-disc collection from the Acrobat label covers all of James' A- & B-side singles from his 1951 debut to the year just before his death. His cover of Robert Johnson
's "Dust My Broom" would become one of his signature songs and it leads off this 54-track collection, which also includes standouts like "The Sky Is Crying," "Rollin' and Tumblin'," and "Early in the Morning." This is a solid introduction to one of the post-war blues' biggest icons.