Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band

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Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band
Stand Back!.jpg
Studio album by
Released1966 or 1967
GenreChicago blues
ProducerSamuel Charters, Barry Goldberg
Charlie Musselwhite's Southside Band chronology
Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band
Blues from Chicago

Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band is the 1966 or 1967 debut album of American blues-harp musician Charlie Musselwhite, leading Charlie Musselwhite's Southside Band.[1] The Vanguard Records release brought Musselwhite to notability among blues musicians and also helped bridge the gap between blues and rock and roll, musically and in marketing. With rough vocals and notable performances on harmonica, guitar and bass guitar, the album was critically well received. It introduced Musselwhite's signature song, his cover of Duke Pearson's "Cristo Redemptor".

Critical reception and influence[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]

The album has been critically well-received, described as "legendary",[3] "seminal",[4] and "one of the classic blues albums of the decade."[5] Its success established Musselwhite in the field of blues music, but it also influenced rock and roll.[3][6] The Southside Band, named for Chicago's South Side, was a combination of blues rhythm section—with Fred Below and Bob Anderson—and rock-influenced musicians Barry Goldberg and Harvey Mandel.[7] Among the first blues albums targeted also to fans of rock and roll,[6] it was influential in bridging the gap between blues and rock.[3] The album's success allowed Musselwhite to launch a career as a full-time musician, relocating from Chicago to California, and also secured his reputation as a harmonica player whose collaborations have included Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Tom Waits, Ben Harper and INXS.[8][9] The album is among Musselwhite's most successful.[10]


Among the album's tracks, "Cristo Redemptor" has remained particularly important in Musselwhite's repertoire, standing as his signature song, although subsequent versions of the Duke Pearson cover have been longer.[7][11] Musselwhite's music here is characterized by smooth harmonica a "harsh, almost strained voice" that Allmusic indicates is "considerably more affected than...later [vocals] (clearer, more relaxed)".[4][7] Mandel's guitar work, influential, features what Legends of Rock Guitar describes as "relentless fuzztone, feedback-edged solos, and unusual syncopated phrasing."[3] Allmusic highlights the guitarist's "snakey stuttering style", particularly on track "Chicken Shack" in which it "truly makes you think your record is skipping."[7] Bass player Bob Anderson, who later played with Howlin' Wolf,[12] has been singled out for a noteworthy rendition of the classic root-3rd-4th progression in the song "Help Me".[13]

Release history[edit]

First released in 1966 or 1967 on Vanguard Records, catalogue numbers VRS-9232 (monaural) and VSD-79232 (stereo),[1][14] the album has been re-released several times on LP and CD by Vanguard and Ace.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Unless otherwise indicated, the composer is uncredited.

  1. "Baby Will You Please Help Me" (Charlie Musselwhite) – 3:20
  2. "No More Lonely Nights" – 5:14
  3. "Cha Cha the Blues" – 3:13
  4. "Christo Redemptor" (Duke Pearson) – 3:21
  5. "Help Me" (Carreras, Farver, Ed Ward) – 3:29
  6. "Chicken Shack" – 4:17
  7. "Strange Land" (Musselwhite) – 3:04
  8. "39th and Indiana" (Musselwhite) – 4:12
  9. "My Baby" – 2:46
  10. "Early in the Morning" – 4:31
  11. "4 P.M." (Harvey Mandel) – 3:17
  12. "Sad Day" (Barry Goldberg) – 5:04



  1. ^ a b There is discrepancy in sources as to the year of initial release, with many sources including Allmusic citing 1967 and various books and newspapers citing 1966. The artist's own website cites 1967 on its discography page, while also reproducing various press articles that variously list both years. See Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band at AllMusic, Musselwhite's press page and Musselwhite's music page.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b c d Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P.; Eiche, Jon F. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard. p. 42. ISBN 0-7935-4042-9. [Harvey Mandel's] guitar work on the legendary Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band (1996) rivaled the playing of both Mike Bloomfield and Eric Clapton and brought blues and rock'n'roll another step closer to one another with his relentless fuzztone, feedback-edged solos, and unusual syncopated phrasing.
  4. ^ a b Dicaire, David (2002). More Blues Singers: Biographies of 50 Artists from the Later 20th Century. McFarland. p. 67. ISBN 0-7864-1035-3.
  5. ^ Santelli, Robert (1993). The Big Book of Blues: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Penguin. p. 305. ISBN 0-14-015939-8.
  6. ^ a b Cahill, Greg (February 21–27, 2002). "Southern Style: Charlie Musselwhite Gets Back to His Country Roots". North Bay Bohemian. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  7. ^ a b c d e Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's Southside Band at AllMusic
  8. ^ Varga, George (2006-05-19). "Harpin' on blues". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  9. ^ "Ione festival features blues musician Musselwhite". Heppner Gazette-Times. 2005-06-29. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-01-09.[dead link]
  10. ^ Silverman, Leigh (1995-10-26). "Mussel Man". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
  11. ^ Tipaldi, Art (2002). Children of the Blues: 49 Musicians Shaping a New Blues Tradition. Backbeat Books. p. 69. ISBN 0-87930-700-5.
  12. ^ Segrest, James; Mark Hoffman (2005). Moanin' at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin' Wolf. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 301. ISBN 1-56025-683-4.
  13. ^ Coryat, Karl (1999). The Bass Player Book: Equipment, Technique, Styles, and Artists. Backbeat Books. p. 75. ISBN 0-87930-573-8.
  14. ^ Reed, Peter Hugh. American Record Guide. 33, 1966–1967. Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation. p. 1053.