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Charlie Musselwhite Live On June 21, 1998 At The Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT.

Charlie Musselwhite and his band rolled into the Wolf Den at the Mohegan Sun Casino on this Fatherís Day for a pair of shows. The elder statesman of blues harmonica looked both happy and in fine health as he joked with fans and signed autographs after each show. Charlie is one of the masters of blues harmonica and his appearances in Connecticut are few and far between. Nothing was going to keep me from catching both shows on this day.

The first show was at 4pm and drew only a small crowd of his most devoted fans. The sound in the Wolf Den was exceptional today and contributed to making these shows even more enjoyable. Although he sounded great, Charlie seemed to be a little tense during this performance. It may just be that heís not used to playing so early. He was backed by a very good group of musicians who successfully wowed the crowd during their own solo parts. Before leaving the stage Charlie joked that this was just a warm-up for the second show and invited everyone back later.

The second show was at 7pm and the Wolf Den filled up early. Charlie seemed more relaxed as he took the stage and his band seemed a lot freer then they had been in the earlier show. At one point, about 3 songs into the show, Charlie launched into a phenomenal extended harp solo that actually drew a crowd from the casino. People gathered around the outside of the Wolf Den, where the performers are clearly visible from the casino floor, and remained for the rest of the show. The band chose to slow down for a few quieter numbers and Charlie continued to wow the crowd with some great playing. The sight of people watching from outside seemed to pump up the adrenaline some as the band returned to a more rocking blues sound for the rest of the show. They left the stage with a well-deserved standing ovation and returned for an encore that proved to be the high point of the entire day.

Charlie was happy, the band was happy, and the crowd was ecstatic. This was one of the days that I hope for every time I head out to a concert.