This Great American Music Company compilation brings together Elmore James
' sessions recorded for a variety of labels including Chief, Fire, and Flair. While this set may be short on James
' most recognized tracks (although "Dust My Broom" and "It Hurts Me Too" are represented), it underlines 18 raw and timeless performances by this blues icon that shouldn’t be missed. The distorted amplified sound of James
' slide guitar, mixing at times with pianist Johnny Jones
and the raunchy saxophone of J.T. Brown
, is heard on lesser-known gems "The Twelve Year Old Boy," "Coming Home," and the instrumental "Elmore's Contribution to Jazz." While the Rhino compilation The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James
may serve the casual fan better, the cuts on The Best of Elmore James, Vol. 2
are still absolutely essential.