LIMITED EDITION "Mini-LP" CD
Packaged like a mini record, this black CD (complete with grooves and record label) plays like a regular CD, but is a special numbered & limited edition.
Coinciding with Little Walter’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in March 2008, BackBender Records artist and award-winning harmonica player Dennis Gruenling puts together an all-star tribute to one of the most influential blues artists and the most important man in blues harmonica history!
“They don’t just play the songs of Little Walter, they express themselves with fluency within the idiom of Little Walter’s blues…Gruenling pulls out all the stops, showing his mastery of all aspects of Little Walter’s music, and providing sensitive and dynamic support behind his guest artists. This is deep blues played by some of the best practitioners active today, period”
- Scott Dirks (co-author of Blues With a Feeling: The Little Walter Story)
Dennis Gruenling is “a leading light among the new generation of harp players” (Blues Revue Magazine). After spending some time in New Orleans in the early 90’s, he’s been laying down some of the best blues & roots harmonica for 15 years. Along the way, Gruenling has shared the stage with many top names in the blues world, such as Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Homesick James, Little Sammy Davis, A.C. Reed, Mick Taylor and Jimmy Dawkins, as well as contemporary masters such as Rod Piazza, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Kim Wilson, Rusty Zinn, Steve Guyger, and Mark Hummel. Now after 10 years of leading a swinging jump-blues outfit of his own, being awarded “Best Modern Blues Harmonica Player” 3 years in a row (Real Blues Magazine) and developing “a sound that promises to re-define the role of the harmonica” ( HIP Magazine), he goes on to pay tribute to the greatest and most influential harmonica player in blues history – Little Walter Jacobs.
On board for the new Little Walter tribute disc are several guests including the Grammy-nominated Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman - Kim Wilson, vocalist and harp player extraordinaire from Little Charlie & the Nightcats - Rick Estrin, alumni of the legendary Jimmy Rogers Band - Steve Guyger, and extraordinary blues/roots guitarist - Rusty Zinn. Recorded at the Grammy-decorated Bennett Studios in Englewood, NJ and at Electric House studios in San Jose, CA.
“…contemporary harmonica master Dennis Gruenling has succeeded in creating a genuine, fresh-sounding album that pays tribute to the Chicago blues harp legend…this is a fantastic and timely album, with honest, quality playing that is sure to make blues harp fans dizzy.” - LIVING BLUES
“…an immediate classic…This tribute album is sure to bring Dennis Gruenling to the attention of many more Blues enthusiasts, as this enjoyable album is the surprise of the year.” -BLUESWAX
“…a winner right from the start… Dennis most certainly has the approach and tone down to a ‘t’…these days, tributes are ten a penny and most of them are worth about as much. This is a very welcome exception…” - BLUES IN BRITAIN
“Dennis Gruenling is the largest new harp talent in the blues world…he’s easily the peer of Musselwhite, Piazza, Hummel, Estrin, Wilson, etc…a harmonica nocturnal visitation that just tears it up.” - DR. BLUES
“Possibly the best harmonica player on the scene today, New Jersey-based Dennis Gruenling offers a tribute to his hero and one of his main influences, Little Walter....in a world of whiney, redundant, cliché-ridden harmonica players, Gruenling stands head and shoulders above the rest with his uncanny chops and jaw-dropping technical virtuosity…Little Walter has influenced all these musicians immeasurably; all have done him justice and them some, with this remarkable release.” - DAILY FREEMAN
“Even with most capable pals Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin and Steve Guyger sharing the chores, it’s Gruening’s blowing that makes for the standout stuff on this exceptional set. His command of technique and sense of the groove are ideally suited to celebrating the man who took blues harmonica to the next level…the spotlight, however, rarely strays from Gruenling and, with his chops, it’s well deserved.” - JAZZ & BLUES REPORT
“Dennis did a great job of paying homage to Little Walter without being a carbon copy of his playing. He manages to put his own spin on it without straying far from the source. With the help of three of our greatest living harp players, it is an album every harp geek should own. Blues lovers that are not so harp-centric, as I, will also like this one.” -BLUES SOCIETY OF WESTERN PA
“East Coast harmonica wizard, Dennis Gruenling, has turned his attention to a marvelous tribute to Little Walter…they know Walter's music so well, but each brings their own spin to this disc. Little Walter's music lives and sounds contemporary as evidenced by this excellent disc with its focus on less exposed material and superior musicianship and harp playing.” -IN A BLUE MOOD
“Dennis Gruenling is one of the hottest young blues harmonica players on the scene today…Gruenling’s unique horn-like tone is born from the influence of the classic jazz players, as was Walter’s, yet Gruenling is no imitator. He’s created a rich, exciting style all his own that has found him being named “Best Modern Blues Harmonica Player” by Real Blues Magazine for three years running… This is one of the finest all out harp sessions of recent memory” - ROB'S BLUES
"Dennis Gruenling is an outstanding harp player...early contender for best Blues recording of 2008."
-Crossroads Blues Society
"Dennis Gruenling has assembled four of the best harp players alive today to honor Little Walter...His chromatic harp weaves and leads the lines is a way that would make Walter smile."
- Big City Blues