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    album is reminiscent of Clay s tradeoffs with other singers at the end of the night Only thing is instead of a casual 12 bar blues the set list now includes among other tunes remakes of chestnuts like What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted the Motown standard made famous by Jimmy Ruffin Turn Back The Hands Of Time a huge crossover smash for Otis dear friend Tyrone Davis and even Dave Mason s Only You Know I Know Rawls Clay and executive producer Bob Trenchard contributed original tunes like Road Dog Hallelujah Lord and Living On Borrowed Time which fit right into the mix of soul gospel and rockin R B on this CD And both men are in fine voice Unlike the standard Sam Dave way of handling soul duets Clay and Rawls don t harmonize instead they sing a verse here and there occasionally commenting to the other man Their voices are readily distinct with Rawls smoother tones offsetting Clay s gravel The chemistry is clearly right there in the music Only one minor complaint the band is a little too slick with a laid back feel you d expect from a Robert Cray album rather than the intensity

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/otis-clay-johnny-rawls-cd/otis_clay__johnny_rawls_soul_bros_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Mississippi Heat, Warning Shot, Delmark Records, blues CD review
    pipes tearing into her old man for his philandering ways and ruing that his love is still so sweet There are high production levels to be found here with crystal clear recording and a spot on mix that will be found throughout the rest of the album It is amazing that this disc only took two days to record Alley Cat Boogie is another peach of a song a rocking boogie with hammering piano from O Hara and Sax Gordon trading solos with Pierre The backing vocals of Mae Koen Diane Madison and Nanette Frank are a nice touch and make this track complete You may also know them from their work on guitarist Giles Corey s Stoned Soul album which was released by Delmark earlier this year This track is backed up with the Calypso stylings of Come to Mama which includes some fun percussion work from Alvarez and is also notable change from the pell mell boogie that came before Mississippi Heat never gets stuck in a rut on Warning Shot Guitarist Michael Dotson takes the vocals on the three tunes that he penned and his voice is hearty and could possibly even be described as tortured Yeah Now Baby has driving tempo that is held in check by the masterful backline of Quinn on bass and Thomas on drums and Swingy Dingy Baby brings a little vintage swing fun into the mix But the standout is Evaporated Blues a funky Delta tinged blues rock song that only a guitar player could have written Kenny Smith also wrote one of the tracks What Cha Say and we get to hear his lead vocals on this slow grinder as well as his fine work behind the drum kit This quartet of songs fits in well with the rest of

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/mississippi-heat/mississippi_heat_warning-shot-CD-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Devon Allman, Ragged & Dirty, Ruf Records, blues CD review
    Corey Billy Branch Sammon and Corey are also known around Chicago for their club appearances at Buddy Guy s Legends B L U E S and Harlem Avenue Lounge There s no shortage of good songs to enjoy here and it s an album that wears well with repeated listening There s five Allman originals plus covers of songs by Luther Allison Otis Taylor and The Spinners Ragged and Dirty kicks off with the Hambridge penned Half The Truth a hard rockin memo to a two timing lover When Allman sings Half the truth is still a lie you hear the indignation in his voice and feel the heat in the sound of his guitar The intro to Can t Lose Em All recalls the Allman Brothers which catches you by surprise because there s not a lot of those moments on Devon s album His guitar solo is fluid and sweet while the lyrics are encouraging Don t give up this could be your lucky day While Devon sings well his voice doesn t sound much like Gregg s nor does he play slide guitar which would have invited comparisons to Duane Devon is his own man musically and nothing on Ragged Dirty sounds especially imitative of his famous family connection Other highlights include the moody sounding instrumental Midnight Lake Michigan a tip of the hat to the Windy City and support players such as Marty Sammon whose keyboard sound helps to color the jam midnight blue Allman gets the chance to wail wah wah style on his original Traveling while the tone gets funkier on Blackjack Heartattack and his tough cover of the Luther Allison penned title track Back To You is another classic sounding jam with plenty of room for Allman and Sammon to shine Allman switches

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/devon-allman-cd/devon_allman_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Elvin Bishop, Can't Even Do Wrong Right, Alligator Records, blues CD review
    spinning out a story and he sure has a lot to offer here including four new originals Thanks to the runaway box office hit Guardians Of The Galaxy a whole new generation gets to hear Elvin s 1975 hit radio classic Fooled Around And Fell In Love Now thanks to Alligator Records release of Can t Even Do Wrong Right you can hear once again the soaring voice of Mickey Thomas an old friend and former Jefferson Starship vocalist who hasn t worked with Elvin since that original 1975 release Famed Chicago harp player Charlie Musselwhite also guest stars on this record on the cuts Old School and Doggin Musselwhite is another artist still out there playing and passing down the blues to kids across America The blues is an important touchstone to American culture one that has shaped all of the music that followed and continues to influence all artists and their music today Elvin Bishop honed his chops with a lot of Chicago blues artists back in the 60s when he took a stab at studying physics at the U of Chicago which is where he first met harpist Paul Butterfield too Fortunately for us he gave up the slide rule for the slide guitar Blues dogs like Lil Smokey Smothers took him under their wing and taught him how to play the blues the Chicago way He s been doing it ever since and this roadhouse record sets a new high water mark It s always a treat worth sitting up for when old dogs get together and howl at the moon and all the better when they howl classics like Blues With A Feeling or Boll Weevil These sweet classics are like butter on hotcakes and you just know that somewhere the spirits of Little Walter

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/elvin-bishop-cd/elvin_bishop_do-wrong-right_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Rob Stone, Gotta Keep Rollin', Vizztone/Marquis, blues CD review
    his band mates have matured over time practicing their craft as Chicago bluesmen In addition to C Note alumni Patrick David and Chris Gotta Keep Rollin features a core band of all star Chicago blues talent that includes John Primer on guitar Henry Gray on piano Willie The Touch Hayes on drums and one of the newest inductees into the Blues Hall of Fame Eddie Shaw on sax My favorite originals written by Rob Chris and Patrick include Not No Mo which is sure to be a popular late night call and response blues anthem when Rob returns to Chicago s Smoke Daddy or the House of Blues The upbeat Blues Keep Rollin On reflects the forward looking energy of the album s title while the instrumental Strollin With Sasquatch gives each band member a chance to show off The cover of Cornelius Green s It s Easy When You Know How reminds me of advice a high school social studies teacher once gave me Mr McDaniel often told me that tests are never hard for those that know the answers On this CD Rob digs deep into Chicago blues history for two of his cover songs Jazz Gillum s She Belongs to Me and John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson s Wonderful Time Gillum an Indianola Mississippi native relocated to Chicago in the early 1920s and began working with Big Bill Broonzy and the Bluebird label in the 1920s and 1930s He was one of the most popular pre war harp players and was the first to record Key to the Highway with Broonzy Sadly he was shot dead in an argument over gambling in the 1960s long after his recording career ended I m pleased that Rob has kept John Lee Sonny Boy Williamson s memory alive as he

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/rob-stone-cd/rob_stone_keep-rollin_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Mud Morganfield and Kim Wilson, For Pops: A Tribute to Muddy Waters, Severn, blues CD review
    Muddy s canon but at least as important play cohesively as a unit Billy Flynn and Rusty Zinn on guitar and Barrelhouse Chuck on piano along with the anchoring rhythm section of Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums But perhaps no one is more aware of the significance of the occasion than Mud Morganfield himself who treated the session as an opportunity to honor his father s centennial next year As anyone who has heard him can attest Mud Morganfield bears an uncanny vocal resemblance to Muddy Waters both in timbre and in phrasing Mud has studied and absorbed his father s style and the full immersion he s experienced enriches his performance of the songs his father made famous And what a set list it is All the songs on For Pops formed part of Muddy s oeuvre but not all of them are equally known There are plenty of old favorites here such as I Want You to Love Me Nineteen Years Old Blow Wind Blow Trouble No More and I Just Want to Make Love to You The instant recognizability of these tunes and the authenticity of the band s performance Kim Wilson s work is conspicuously good here make for a transformative experience These renditions are not carbon copies yet they are so faithful that they make you feel as though you ve stepped back in time Woven in among these tunes are lesser known gems that haven t been recorded much and are worth rediscovering The album opens not with a time tested warhorse but with Gone to Main Street an original composition that Muddy recorded in 1952 Midway through the session we re treated to She s Got It a St Louis Jimmy Oden tune that Muddy cut in 1958 and My

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/mud-morganfield-cd/mud_morganfield__kim_wilson_pops_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Marcia Ball, Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man, Alligator Records
    on guitar Don Bennett on bass Damien Llanes on drums and Thad Scott on tenor saxophone The title cut gets things rolling in fine fashion as Ball recounts the grand tale of love in the midst of the carnival sideshow complemented by her killer piano work Her playing on Like There s No Tomorrow reflects the New Orleans piano tradition that Ball learned growing up in Louisiana Mark Kaz Kazanoff on baritone sax Jimmy Shortell on trumpet Randy Zimmerman on trombone and Scott boost the energy level while Ball encourages listeners to have a good time a song sure to get some play come Mardi Gras time The Squeeze is On is poignant assessment of our troubled financial times accented by Terrance Simien s accordion and backing vocal Guitarist Schermer tears it up on Hot Springs underscoring Ball s concerns about what her man is up to in the Arkansas city The rollicking pace of Can t Blame Nobody but Myself features another killer solo from Ball and a wailing harp solo from guest Delbert McClinton Clean My House finds the singer ready to kick an unappreciative man to the curb The rich organ tones from Red Young ride the shuffle rhythm on Get You a Woman a song that encapsulates the many improvements a good woman can bring to a man s existence He s the One finds Ball celebrating the love of her life with Schermer and sax man Scott delivering robust solos Shelly King Carolyn Wonderland and Amy Helm add harmony vocals on the beautiful hymn Human Kindness one of four tracks that form the emotional core of the disc Ball pores out her woes on Lazy Blues the relaxed pace set by the band emphasizing her heartbreak On Just Keep Holding On she touchingly reflects on

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/marcia-ball-cd/marcia_ball_tatooed_lady_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Liz Mandeville, Heart 'O' Chicago, Blue Kitty Music, blues CD review
    not content to recycle the basic 12 bar format On These Blues her voice rides the lightly swinging beat from drummer Jeremiah Thomas Gradually the rest of the band joins in as Mandeville relates the comforting presence that blues music has in her life She takes things uptown on Silver Linings Shirley s Blues pushed along by Darryl Wright s sturdy bass line bright accents from the horn section comprised of Wade Baker on trumpet Eric Campbell on trombone and Oz Landessberg on sax punch it up The song chronicles the singer s attempt to quit smoking Guitarist Minoru Maruyama underscores her struggles with one of his notable six string interludes Mandeville belts out her frustration as she impatiently waits for her man to return on Tic Tok a driving number with Joan Gand giving her Hammond B 3 organ a real workout Several guest artists make significant contributions starting with the legendary Eddie Shaw His brawny sax finishes off the opener Cloud of Love the final horn embellishment around Mandeville s red hot vocal He shares the solo spotlight with Maruyama on another high point a modern version of the break up song Quit Me on Voice Mail Singer Charlie Love joins Mandeville for a magnificent soulful duet on Don t Doubt My Love and sticks around to lend a helping hand on Smart Women Foolish Choices a strutting shuffle with another exuberant vocal from the leader Another highlight is So Called Best Friend with Billy Branch playing sinuous harp lines to accent Mandeville s blunt tale of cheating in the next room He also makes an appearance on the good time romper Party at the End of Time making his harp dance on his solo slot It is definitely appropriate that Mandeville gets a chance to show off

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/cd-reviews/liz-mandeville-cd/liz_mandeville_heart_cd_page.html (2016-02-16)
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