Four Aces and a Harp is an uncompromising blues album that puts it’s best foot forward. It’s no surprise that the album is simply great; it’s packed with some of the biggest blues talent in the industry. The lineup consists of Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and John Primer, both who played in Muddy Water’s band, as well as Bob Stroger, Jimmy Burns and very talented swiss bluesman Chris Harper.
Four Aces is 18 tracks of blues heaven. They play the deep blues of Willie Dixon, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, and a number of others, as well as some original numbers from various members of the band. It doesn’t hurt that some members of the band played on the original tracks years ago! The band’s intimate sound is everything you’d expect to hear in a traditional Mississippi delta juke joint or a south side Chicago blues club interchangeably, which perfectly fulfills the reason these talented blues men came together to play in the first place. As the liner notes describe, they wanted “a CD of traditional Chicago Blues with the finest musicians in town, using the music from the early years of Chicago Blues, half acoustic tunes to show the Mississippi Delta roots and half electric to show what it grew into.” What they set out to do is exactly what they accomplished. Any fan of the traditional Chess style Chicago sounds or the Muddy Waters style of Delta blues simply won’t get closer than this album.