Howlin’ Wolf is the moniker of Chester Arthur Burnett, the legendary blues artist whose voice gave him his name. But the 6 foot 3, 270 lb. Burnett may have just as easily earned his reputation from the feral spirit animating his music. During an early radio performance, he attempted to define blues music for his audience:
If you ain’t got no money, you got the blues, ‘cause you’re thinkin’ evil. Anytime you thinkin’ evil, you thinkin’ about the blues.
Evil never sounded so good. Watch the 1964 live performance of his single, “Smokestack Lightning,” here.