Where the Blues rears its beautiful and ugly head.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
The Innovator Of The Blues Harp & A Great Irish Blues-Rocker
I was previously unaware of Rory Gallagher. He is a great guitar player who reminds me of Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore. This music certainly isn't Blues, but can be classified as Blues-Rock. Favorites of mine are "Wheels Within Wheels", "As The Crow Flies", "Edged In Blue" and "Loanshark Blues". Please pick up this album if you are interested in hearing an Irish Blues-Rock musician with excellent guitar skills and a solid voice. He certainly beats anything Thorogood has done in ages!
Innovator Of The Harp
This is a wonderful disc that gives the listener a sampling of the talents of Little Walter. Although he was a good singer, he is best remembered for his incredible harmonica playing. In fact, he revolutionized the way in which the harmonica is played. His playing has such force and command and he is so versatile with his instrument that he reminds one of a great saxophone player, like Coleman Hawkins, and not a rudimentary Blues harmonica man. This disc is missing "Juke", Walter's biggest hit, and "Key To The Highway", as well as "Mean Old World", but it's still a fantastic album with nice packaging. Walter is supported by the great Robert Junior Lockwood and the highly underrated Luther Tucker on many tracks.
A Great, Young Bluesman
Samuel James is a great, young Bluesman. He isn't quite at the level of Alvin Youngblood Hart and Corey Harris, the two greatest players alive today, but still has a lot to bring to the table. What he lacks in guitar-playing ability he makes for with his great story-telling quality and his voice. He is an extremely original lyricist. "Love & Mumbly Peg" and "Baby-Doll" are extremely enjoyable. James is a real throwback to the Country Bluesmen of yesteryear and is under thirty years of age, to the best of my knowledge. He can be easily contacted on MySpace. He's definitely an artist to watch; we'll be able to see him progress and become one of the true greats some day. "The Sad Ballad of Ol' Willie Chan" sounds like nothing else the Blues has ever produced. At his best, he is a mixture of Bob Dylan and Furry Lewis.
Archaic, Homely, Beautiful Voice
Although Callicott's guitar playing skills had diminished since the 1920s and 1930s, he has an archaic, homely and beautiful voice on this disc. It's a highly enjoyable album, especially considering how it comes from Fat Possum Records, who is not known to produce good material, or material that can even be deemed Blues. "Frankie And Albert" is wonderful, but, really, every track is a keeper. It's a shame that the liner notes are so skimpy, but the packaging is still very nice. Fat Possum's McDowell and Furry Lewis albums are also great. Callicott seems to be a mixture of John Hurt and Frank Stokes in terms of vocals. It's a shame that he recorded so little material during his peak years, around 1929. This is a great album to use to introduce your friends to the Country Blues, as it's very mild and the lyrics are usually easy to grasp. Of all the Blues Revival discoveries, perhaps only Mississippi John Hurt possessed a more gentle, calming, subtle voice. This material is truly recommended. There is an album of Blue Horizon sessions with Callicott and Furry Lewis, and Callicott is in much better form on this album.
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.