Blues harmonica innovator Little Walter was a critically important creative force. Between his brilliant, combustible musicality, equally incendiary temperament, penchant for hard living and tragic death at 37, he exerted an influence so pervasive and profound that, much like his bandstand boss Muddy Waters, he has assumed an almost mythological stature in blues hierarchy. As the first musician ever to bring the microphone right up to the harp, cupped within his hands, Little Walter was revolutionary. He also experimented with squeezing the most out of an amplifier, cranking it all the way up and adding distortion, introducing wild new sonic dimensions for the instrument. Walter's mixture of sensitivity and technical innovation was unbeatable. The 19-track compilation Hate To See You Go: King of the Blues Harp Slingers shines a bright light on early Little Walter gems like "My Babe," "Juke," "Last Night," and "You're So Fine," among others, all chock full of raw guitar grooves and unparalleled harmonica excellence.