Down Beat (2/91) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...a must for fans of that distorted sound of harmonica blown through a hand-held mic and blasted through an amplifier. It's the Chicago sound, and this is the cream of that crop."
Musician (3/91) - "...an in-the-studio version of the harmonica blow-downs you hear in a blues tavern on a midweek night, and it's about as relaxed and enjoyable as the real thang...Absent the late Little Walter, Sonny Boy and Big Walter, this is about the strongest harp front four you'll ever find...if you've got a harp jones, this is where it's at..."
Living Blues (1/91-2/91) - "Someone given to rock-style hype might call HARP ATTACK a `super harp, super session', and in this case it would fit like a glove...not only inspired, it is magnificent. Each man's harp is first-rate and original at all times, performed in trademark styles, and matched equally in the quality and emotional depth of the vocals."
Full performer name: James Cotton/Junior Wells/Carey Bell/Billy Branch.
Personnel: James Cotton, Junior Wells, Carey Bell, Billy Branch (vocals, harmonica); Michael Coleman (guitar); Lucky Peterson (bass); Ray "Killer" Allison (drums).
Recorded at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, Illinois. Includes liner notes by Bruce Iglauer.
Suggested alternate title: FOUR HARPS, NO WAITING. In other words, this is a sort of blues harp summit meeting, featuring three players--James Cotton, Junior Wells, and Carey Bell--who all at one time had featured in the Muddy Waters band, plus a younger disciple, Billy Branch, who had, as they say, learned from the best.
Highpoints include the Junior Wells solo track "Keep Your Hands Out of My Pocket," which is a terrific showcase for his distinctive harp style (he has a deliberately cleaner tone than the other three) and the opening "Down Home Blues," which is a sort of cutting contest where all four get a vocal verse, and an instrumental solo. Terrific stuff.