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Big Walter "Shakey" Horton

Big Walter

Biography

Along with Walter Jacobs (Little Walter), Walter "Shakey" Horton was one of the most innovative and important harmonica players to emerge from Chicago's Southside blues scene of the 1950s. Playing his instrument through a tube amplifier and using reverb and distortion, Horton could make his harmonica sound almost like a tenor saxophone. He played extensively throughout the South and recorded prolifically in Memphis before moving to Chicago in the late '40s. Once there, he was in great demand as a sideman, playing and recording with everyone from Muddy Waters to Otis Rush. He played and recorded up until his death in 1981. His sound is marked by a massive tone, relaxed, behind-the-beat phrasing, and nary a wasted note.
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