Genuine Houserockin' Music II
Alligator ALCD 102
There are five Genuine Houserockin' samplers, and each is worth owning. This one, from 1987, lasts 67-minutes, and contains four additional tracks over its cassette edition. The 16 songs were originally released between 1980 and 1987. There are no previously un-released cuts. Only five of these treasured artists remain Alligator's current roster.
With wicked finger pickin' and pluckin', Albert Collins lays down a signature tune that features a Texas shuffle. Big Twist's deep, assertive voice and the Mellow Fellows' dangerous horns create a soulful party. "I'd Rather Go Blind" is still regularly performed by Koko Taylor. On this absolutely brilliant version, her throaty vocals roar. Slide master, Lil' Ed, is better when experienced in concert. On "Pride and Joy", his antics get distorted. Little Charlie and The Nightcats have just released their ninth Alligator record. Their West Coast style blues feature Rick Estrin's classic harp and Charlie Baty's fat-toned guitar. Back in '87, being "T.V. Crazy" was their greatest concern. Witty lyrics that refer to shows such as: Love Boat and Dallas, give away the song's era. Prior to Mavis Staples, Johnny Winter was Alligator's greatest international superstar. He uses his slide guitar like an axe grinder on "Mojo Boogie". Lonnie Brooks combines many styles into his bayou music. His friendly, yet intimidating, vocals have a voodoo presence, while his guitar emits more passion than multiple rock guitarists combined. Thanks to Michael Coleman, "Part Time Love" is from the funkiest era of James Cotton's long-standing career. Long before Joss Stone butchered "The Chokin' Kind", two of America's roadhouse kingpins (Roy Buchanan and Delbert McClinton) created the definitive version. New Orleans piano master, Professor Longhair, creates a party out of personal disaster. "The Dream" is taking from Showdown. It was recently chosen, by GuitarOne Magazine, among the Top 200 greatest guitar recordings of all time. Lonnie Mack performs a soft rock ballad which is now a classic. However, the music's pace didn't have to be reduced in order to be meaningful and heartfelt. In fact, almost all the disc's songs possess these qualities which will move you as a listener. This is why this collection is so essential.
As with the other Genuine Houserockin' Music collections, this CD is an advertisement for the label. The main goal is to get you hooked on them and their artists. Detailed liner notes contain biographies on all featured artists. The downside is there are no songwriter credits or studio musicians listed. You'll experience all types of blues on this vibrant sampler. Best of all, the music genuinely is the blues, or a very closely related cousin. How is a sampler CD worthy of a perfect score? The answer is simple, and it is based entirely on quality and value.
--- Tim Holek