Shake Your Money Maker: The Best of the Fire Sessions
Label: Fire Records
Recorded between 1959 and 1961, these 16 sides represent the versions of Elmore James' hugely influential songs that made him one of the most instantly identifiable artists in blues history. While "The Sky Is Crying" has been made shiny by more Stevie Ray Vaughan-like modern blues guitar hacks than can be counted, it's filthy here. The solo in "Rollin' & Tumblin'" is one of blues' most understatedly brilliant moments; "Dust My Broom" manages to rise above all the covers; "Shake Your Moneymaker" shows exactly where Hound Dog Taylor came from.