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David Johansen Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ADA [Wea 1-Stop Account]
  • ASIN: 5553579430
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Product Description

CD Description

DAVID JOHANSEN & THE HARRY SMITHS' Shaker is more than just a tribute to great blues legends and the infamous anthropologist of folk music. This work effectively brings together a profound understanding of the folk/blues genre, Johansen's own gritty style, and a band of seasoned musicians to bring an enticingly accessible creation with traces of rock and jazz sprinkled throughout. Building on the folk accuracy of their first, eponymous album (JD 196), Shaker elevates this artistic concept to a new level, casting another set of classic tunes that glow with a coat of that unique Johansen character. While the band's debut album focused on material from the Harry Smith anthology, Shaker maintains a similar feel but also brings in classic songs from blues greats such as Son House, Muddy Waters and a wonderful rendition of Charlie Patton's High Sheriff, with Johansen's pinpoint delivery and phrasing leaving the listener aching for more following the last refrain.

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Nicely Red Beans and Ricely 17 Jan 2003
By doublegone TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Punk icons really have no business making blues albums as good as this. This cd has really great smoky atmosphere with lots of scraped guitars and splashes of brushes on drums. David's tungsten tonsils, used in low gear,really lend themselves to this material.
The songs are mostly old covers. An unexpected treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voice Ideal For Blues 15 Nov 2006
By D. Bibb
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the second cd Johansen as done with the Harry Smiths of old blues songs.Very good my favourite being Deathletter,I have the original by Son House and though nothing will beatit Johansen comes a close second.This cd is much better than the first and far much better than any revamped blues like Clapton.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Low key acoustic blues with real warmth 21 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of David Johansen and this was described to me as more punchy than it is. It is still a very good album but I love David live and would love to hear him recording this material live He is a great frontman and comes to life in the live situation. The playing is classy but I do at times feel that it is too squeaky clean. Quite an odd review but I am glad I bought it and do feel the need to play it often.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reimagining tradition, brilliantly 12 Jun 2002
By Jerome Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Something magical happens when David Johansen and the Harry Smiths take on old-time blues and folk songs. Shaker is every bit the equal of their first, eponymously titled disc, maybe even better -- though when music is this good, such comparisons become meaningless.
Johansen is a great folk-blues singer in the same way Bob Dylan is, though the two sound neither alike nor like the source singers from whose dusty 1920s/30s 78s they get their material or take their inspiration. Like Dylan, Johansen finds a way into the heart of a song and transforms it into something so distinctive and personal that comparisons to the original are rendered irrelevant. This is saying a lot when one considers that the originals are classic recordings by Furry Lewis, Tommy McClennan, Son House, Muddy Waters, and other giants of the blues at its most intensely rooted.
The Harry Smiths help make all this possible via creative, rhythm-driven, mostly acoustic grooves, grounded in tradition yet standing somewhere outside, above, and around it. Together with Johansen's heart-wrenchingly expressive vocals, alternately angry or morose or sardonic, they take the songs and the listeners to a place they have never been before.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transfiguration of tradition 18 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I thought the first Harry Smiths album was brilliant but this one is even better. There is a more consistent feel to the whole thing with David rarely straying from the country blues canon and the band providing an understated, nonflashy yet totally appropriate groove throughout. Most of the songs have been endlessly covered by others through the years but David truely makes you hear them anew. They are recognisable old classics but transfigured into something else. Like Johnny Cash with his American Recordings series the music sounds like it comes from someplace outside of time and fads. And that voice - it has to be one of the great voices for this stuff. Once again only Cash compares in terms of singing and interpreting old trad American music in a seemingly effortless way with true profound depth and soul. This is a truely great album that you can listen to again and again. All the tracks are great in their own way - my favorites change each time I listen although My Morphine (the one relatively contemporary song) and Death letter stand out (mind you so does Kassie Jones, The last kind words, High sheriff .......).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ravishing Set 7 Feb 2005
By Paul Montag - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
None of this music is in a hurry so it's understandable why it may take David Jo fans a couple of listens before accepting it (if they hadn't heard the Harry Smiths debut already from two years previous); it's not fast like a lot of his rock n' roll, but it includes its fair share of similarities, such as steaminess, sensitivity and smoky-vocal aggressiveness.

Some of the most tense music I've ever heard is on this album, from the 'Farewell, darling, I'll see you on the judgement day,' on 'Death Letter' to

'hhmmmm, mmmm's' on 'High Sheriff,' one weird-sounding, poor-in-spirit muffling about some severe injustices that played out and this soul still feels all of his forgotten-ness.

It's one thick-sounding disk and you probably shouldn't let it function as background music. With its delicate touch and honest and humurous infiltrations, you'll want to pay close yet easy attention to it, especially from song 5 (where it really kicks in) until the end.

This record always sounds better to me when I listen to it by myself rather than in a crowd that doesn't catch on to the richness of this recording's subtleties. So go pick up a copy and tune in to a kind of music that is almost embarrassing in its revealings and is still downright fun (and funny) to listen to.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follwup CD. Great singing and playing. 20 Dec 2002
By Mickey Randazzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Johansen and the Harry Smith band just gave us a fun and soulfull second CD. Great takes on some fine songs. "My Granpa is Old Too", is both touching and uplifting.
I still remember David's singing at High School dances in Staten Island NY, in 1967, and it was evident then he had the voice for the Blues. Hope they keep them comin!!
2.0 out of 5 stars Blah blues covers. 1 July 2014
By Steven R. Severance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for the Giche Willey song "last kind words. " Johansen does a great cover of this! but the rest of the material on the album is incredibly blah.
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