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February 2002

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Little Milton
The Complete Checker Hit Singles
  Connoisseur Collection (U.K.)

Little MiltonFrom the good folks that brought you the two great Joe Tex releases I reviewed a few issues back comes this absolutely killer collection of 24 of Little Milton's singles released over the years at Checker Records in Chicago. All the familiar hits are there, including "We're Gonna Make It," "Grits Ain't Groceries," "If Walls Could Talk," just to name a few. Also included is a great version of "The Dark End Of the Street," which was the "B" side of one of his singles and a track I don't believe appeared on CD before. 

I have given very favorable reviews to much of Milton's output these recent years on Malaco. As good as he is today (and make no doubt about it, he is still great), these recordings showed him at the top of his game. The voice, the songwriting, the production all added to a magical time in his recording career. These recordings cover a ten year period from 1961-1971.

We need to be indebted to these companies who compile these great reissues (and at a midline price too). This release is truly a labor of love and one we all should own. Even the liner notes by Neil Slavin are wonderful and add to the beauty of this valuable release.

And while I am on the subject of Little Milton, be sure to catch him at Blues Blast 2002 in Mesa, Arizona on February 24th, a festival presented by The Phoenix Blues Society.

--- Alan Shutro

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