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Blues Power Vol 4 (Various Blues Artists)
Blues Power Vol 4 (Various Blues Artists)
Offered by Market garys Dvd's
Price: £6.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Mojo - Blues Power, 15 Jun. 2010
This cd was originally given away free with Mojo magazine. It's a pretty good beginners guide to the Blues with it's selling point of music that inspired The Yardbirds, (Kurt Cobains) Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, Elvis, The Rolling Stones etc.

Tracklisting:
John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom
Jimmy Reed - I Ain't Got You
Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love?
Little Willie John - Fever
T-Bone Walker - Stormy Monday
Odetta - Midnight Special
Howlin' Wolf - Spoonful
Guitar Slim - Things That I Used To Do
Freddy King - Hide Away
Sonny Boy Williamson (II) - Fattening Frogs For Snakes
Otis Rush - I Can't Quit You Baby
Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy
Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers - Let's Get Funky
Son House - John The Revelator
Leadbelly - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

As you can see, a very strong and varied lineup, from the sparse folk-blues of Leadbelly to the more urbane T-Bone Walker, and the rocking Rhythm & Blues of Bo Diddley to the sheer power of Muddy Waters' Electric Mud version of Mannish Boy. If you're looking for an entry point into the Blues (and this was mine) and are not sure where to start, it's well worth spending a couple of quid to get secondhand. I still regularly play mine in the car, even though I've long since searched out albums by the vast majority of the artists featured. Recommended.


Cadillac Men: the Legendary Sun Masters
Cadillac Men: the Legendary Sun Masters
Price: £13.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw visceral rock & roll, 6 Mar. 2010
This is a terrific album: raw, visceral and crackling with energy. One could make much out of rhythm guitarist Jerry Phillips rock & roll pedigree, being the son of legendary Sun Records boss Sam Phillips, but the real driving force here is blues-influenced lead guitarist Teddy Paige who lifts these songs out of the ordinary.

The album is divided into three: thirteen tracks from The Jesters with vocal duties shared by Tommy Minga and his replacement Jim Dickinson, and four tracks at the end by Minga's later outfit The Escapades, sandwiching a sole track by Jimmy Day & The Knights (The Jesters in disguise), a cover of Smokey Robinson's What's So Good About Goodbye, which, er, vocally at least gets a bit ropey in parts but it still has a certain charm. The best track on here though is Cadillac Man, a stomping tale of being chased by the po-lice.

If you like sixties high-energy garage rock & roll like The Seeds, The Standells, The Count Five and so on, and let's face it no right-thinking person doesn't, then give this album a try.


The Collection
The Collection
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfactory, but better than nothing, 26 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Collection (Audio CD)
This should be titled A Collection, not THE Collection. It's not that this is a bad album, or there's any bad songs on it; far from it. The problem, as Mr Sampson mentions above, is that this could be, should be, so much better. Three stars, in my opinion, is half a star too many for what is quite literally half a collection, but I can't award half stars and it IS Junior Parker after all: quite simply one of the greatest voices ever to grace popular music. The fact that he's not known and acknowledged as such by the general population is an injustice, but then the general population never did know squat about music anyway.

The glaring problem here is the omissions: no Love My Baby, no Feelin' Good/Bad, no Fussin' And Fightin', no I Need Love So Bad, no Someone Broke This Heart Of Mine, and most damning of all, no Mystery Train (a song that Elvis covered and, remarkably, for perhaps the first and only time ever, improved), this even AFTER the sleevenotes mention what an important song it is in the history of rockabilly! I would also like to have heard his only single for Modern: Be My Angel. I know licensing issues come into play but come on, try harder!

Maybe at some point in the future, when I'm driving my hovercar and wearing my bacofoil suit, somebody will bring out a full and comprehensive collection of Junior Parker's work, but in the meantime I recommend you do as I have and make do with this and Next Time You See Me (Universe), and if you're only going to buy one, buy that instead.


Fernwood Rhythm 'n' Blues from Memphis
Fernwood Rhythm 'n' Blues from Memphis
Price: £13.72

5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipitous!, 18 Feb. 2010
My dictionary defines serendipity as 'making fortunate discoveries by accident'. I'd never even heard of the Fernwood label but I was looking for an album that featured Willie Cobbs' You Don't Love Me after hearing it on Radio 2's Shake, Rattle & Roll show, and after going through the various options this album seemed worthy of a speculative punt.

I suppose reviewing an album after only one listen (the postman only delivered it today!) could come back to bite me on the behind, but I'm pretty confident in the months to come I'll still stand by the reaction I had the first time I heard it: this is an absolute cracker. There's a small handfull of familiar songs apart from the one I mention above: Donnie Williams (no, me neither) does an excellent reworking of Boogie Chillun and Willie Cobbs' Big Boss Man is splendid. Of all the tracks on the album I perhaps didn't enjoy The Bogard Brothers Stop And Let Me Ride (a version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot) as much as the others, but maybe that's more because I associate the song with braying oafs at rugby matches rather than any deficiency in the song or performance here.

That aside, other noteworthy tracks that have jumped out at me so far are The Lyrics' Down In The Alley, Barbara Perry's Bobby Is A Bad Bad Boy, Eddie Carroll's I've Never Met An Angel Before and Willie Cobbs' Mistreated Blues, but really it's all good, as they say.
I thoroughly recommend this album. The sleevenotes are suitably detailed and the music brought a warm glow on a snowy day in February.


Midnight Special
Midnight Special
Price: £6.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Album, 9 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Midnight Special (Audio CD)
If you're looking for an overview containing most of the best of Leadbelly's work, then this is as good a place to start as you'll find. If you fancy a bit more detail, then I recommend the 3cd Snapper box set, but if you're new to Huddie Ledbetter and are not sure what to expect, then this should suffice.

Although he can certainly pull off the blues with aplomb, this isn't just a blues album. In fact I always think of it as more folk than anything else, but this collection demonstrates how he was equally adept at covering all sorts; whatever it would have taken for an itinerant musician of the day to please a crowd and get paid. It's instructive to listen to this compared to say, Big Bill Broonzy. Roughly contempories in age, Leadbelly's songs sound much much older, from the 19th rather than the 20th century.

Strong and atmospheric in delivery, and often able to raise a chill in the listener, particularly when you read the story of his amazing life, this complex and sometimes violent man offers a window on a world long (and thankfully) gone, especially with songs such as T.B. Blues and Bourgeois Blues.

Buy.


Hound Dog - The Essential Collection
Hound Dog - The Essential Collection
Price: £6.25

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff, 2 Feb. 2010
You're probably here because you know her version of Hound Dog and want to know if there's anything else worth having by 'Big Mama' Thornton. Well you're in luck. If you like Hound Dog then this fine collection of rockin' Rhythm n Blues is going to be right up your street: 22 tracks and not a duffer on there. Obviously it all has a similar-ish sort of feel to it, and in the way of artists of the day, Hound Dog gets revisited at least in theme and attitude a few times here, but at least with enough variation not to get tiresome. Highlights for me include I Just Can't Help Myself, The Fish, Yes Baby (with Johnny Ace), Walking Blues (containing more than a hint of Otis Rush's My Love Will Never Die), and of course the aforementioned Hound Dog.

I can't say if this is the definitive collection of Big Mama's work as it's the only one I own. Probably there's more comprehensive ones available, but if you're looking for a single cd album at budget price I doubt you'll do much better. Go on, give it a try. What have you got to lose?


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