Howlin Wolf & His Wolf Gang

Review by Back To The Roots

Howlin’ Wolf’ & His Wolf Gang played one of the last concerts before Wolf passed away in 1976 at the 1815 Club on Chicago’s West Side in 1975. This long player also features great studio recordings by his Wolf Gang bandmates. The sixteen songs were recorded between 1975 and 1996. In addition to saxophonist Eddie Shaw and pianist Detroit Jr. the legendary Hubert Sumlin also makes an appearance. Detroit Jr. is present for four tracks, Hubert Sumlin for three. Unfortunately, Howlin’ Wolf’s live recordings at the famous 1815 Club are of a poor quality. But the intensity of a blues legend like Howlin’ Wolf makes it more than worth it. Wolf performed songs like “Big House,” “Take A Walk With Me,” “Laid Down Last Night,” “After A While,” and “Don’t Deceive Me, recorded July 25–27, 1975. It was a privileged to see such an iconic blues artist live in a West Side club setting. All these recordings belong to the private collection of Hannes Folterbauer, owner of the Austrian label Wolf Records. Like many blues aficionados, Hannes greatly admired Howlin’ Wolf and even named his record label after him, “Live at 1815 Club is the real deal Chicago blues.”

Phillip Verhaege