Where the Blues rears its beautiful and ugly head.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Atlantans & Voodoo Men
This disc features the ferocious intensity and masterful singing, not to mention beautiful lyrics, of Son House. This material is different than both his original Paramount Recordings and his stuff from the 1960s. He is in great form on this record, and although the liner notes are skimpy and the cd looks like it could have been manufactured by a fourteen year old boy who downloads Country Blues all day (reminds me of me, just a decade or so ago!), the disc is not only well-worth owning, but is one of the greatest Country Blues cds that I can think of. Every song is excellent, and the driving intensity is relentless. This disc is strongly recommended.
4.5 Star Mance Lipscomb DVD
This dvd is deserving of 4.5 stars, as the song selection isn't quite as impressive as it is on the Mance/Lightnin' Hopkins Yazoo dvd. Also, one song, which is, I believe, "When The Saints Go Marching In", simply goes on for way too long. The audience looks like a mixture of stoned hippies, madmen and serious guitar players. I think I even saw the famous Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame in the audience. If you can get this dvd for a cheap price, please do so. However, as previously mentioned, you're probably better off with the Mance/Hopkins dvd. "Going Down Slow" and "So Different Blues" are the highlights of this dvd.
An Older, But Still Wonderful, Blind Willie McTell
McTell may have lost quite a few steps since the 1920s and '30s by the time this music was recorded, but he was still in excellent form. The disc has a solid song selection and shows us that, had McTell have lived just a few more years, he could have been a huge star in the Country Blues revival. His twelve string guitar playing is exquisite. In my opinion, McTell and Gary Davis are the greatest twelve string guitarists in history; better than Leadbelly and Jesse Fuller. This disc and "Pig 'N' Whistle Red" are extremely enjoyable, but one should buy the JSP McTell box set first!
Great Classic Rock DVD
As a Country Blues fan, I can't say that I'm the biggest Deep Purple fan in the world. However, I highly enjoy many Classic Rock acts, such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Deep Purple. This show finds them in excellent form. Ritchie's guitar playing is fantastic, Paice's drumming is frantic, Coverdale and Hughes both sing their hearts out, but, to me, the real star of the show is Lord, whose organ work is simply breathtaking. I bought this dvd at a subway station store in MyeongDong, Seoul, South Korea today, for three dollars, and am quite pleased with my purchase. This dvd is strongly recommended to anybody who enjoys '70s Classic Rock and great electric guitar work. "Mistreated" has a Bluesy undercurrent, thus it seems semi-appropriate for me to place this item's review on my Blues blog. It's easy to see how Ritchie inspired a certain '80s guitar playing "hero" who has an amazing amount of talent but can't write a good song to save his life!
It Was In The Weary Hour Night
Songs like "It Was In The Weary Hour Night" (related to Blind Willie McTell and Curley Weaver's gorgeous "Wee Midnight Hours"), "Betty And Dupree" and "Every Day Seems Like Sunday" prove that Buddy Moss was one of the greatest acoustic Bluesmen to have ever lived. This material was recorded supposedly after his prime, however, in my opinion, his playing and singing is much better, and the variety of material is greater, on this disc than on his 1930s recordings. Buddy Moss is the only artist who recorded during the heyday of the Country Blues/"race record" industry who actually sounded better during the Country Blues revival than he did on his old 78 records. It took me a while to really appreciate this record. For some bizarre reason, I didn't enjoy it on first listen. A while later, I went back and listened to it, and truly appreciated it. At the time this record was recorded, Moss' contemporary, the great Blind Willie McTell, had passed away. Barbecue Bob had been dead for approximately thirty years. Therefore, in the 1960s, Moss was the representative of the Atlanta Blues scene of yesteryear. This is a fantastic record which I can't recommend enough. "How I Feel Today" is perhaps the darkest song on this record, in terms of mood, and is another stand-out performance.
One Of The Finest Solo Country Blues Releases
Along with Furry Lewis' "Shake 'Em On Down" and Buddy Moss' "Atlanta Blues Legend", this is one of the finest solo Country Blues albums of the Country Blues revival period. Every song on this album stands out, and Shines' lyrical abilities are dazzling. His voice can go from a whisper to a shout stronger than that of Howlin' Wolf in an instant. This record proves that Shines was as good as, if not better than, Robert Johnson, the now-famous musician with whom he often played and criss-crossed America.
Pink Got His
Pink Anderson's "I Got Mine" and "Travelin' Man" are both fantastic. However, the rest of the material on this disc is not quite as great as the stuff on the first and third volumes of Anderson's recordings on the Bluesville label. That is the sole reason I'm giving this disc four stars, and not five. Pink's few recordings with Simmie Dooley from the heyday of Country Blues are fantastic, and one should definitely seek them out. Listen to Frank Stokes' "I Got Mine" and then Pink's version. They are quite different, but both are highly memorable.
I am a rather eclectic human being. I enjoy classic foreign films and studying East Asian religions.
My life changed after listening to Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions cd and going out and buying "Sleepy" John Estes and Muddy Waters records.