Guitarist Harvey Mandel was on the very short list to replace Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones, but you've probably never heard of him — or even heard him play. Mandel grew up playing in Chicago blues clubs in the early '60s and made a breakthrough record with Charlie Musselwhite called Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite's South Side Band.
After moving to California, Mandel recorded instrumental albums like Cristo Redentor, which were staples on early progressive radio, and became an on-again, off-again member of Canned Heat. His sinuous style up and down the guitar neck earned him the nickname "The Snake" and got him that Stones audition. Now, Mandel is back with his gifts intact on the new album Snake Pit. Hear the complete segment, including live performances of music from Snake Pit, in the player above.