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Black Magic CD
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Top Customer Reviews
But I reckon at least two tracks on this cd sound like they have been lifted straight off West Side Soul. Virtually nothing changed but the lyrics. And I have to credit Magic Sam for tackling a classic Otis Rush song. He even sounds like Otis but it did have me revisiting the Otis classic and nothing but nothing compares to hearing Otis Rush not so much as being backed by Ike Turners Band but positively powered along by a wall of frenetic sound and energy.
So if you dont own West Side Soul buy this for the quality of the material but I dont think there are any real standout tracks. If you dont own either I would probably recommend West Side Soul over this one as I think the material is a little more powerful with a few really standout tracks.
The soul element is especially prominent when listening to Magic Sam's vocals, which are those of a soul singer rather than a blues singer, but most of the songs are structured and played like blues numbers. It's a bit of shame that Sam's guitar playing isn't more prominent, actually...the tasteful riffing of saxist Eddie Shaw is very enjoyable, but he was such an excellent blues guitarist, exhilarating even, and it would have been nice with a few more really smoking fills and solos.
This album doesn't contain the obvious number 1 (or five star) hit - unlike his previous album, "West Side Soul" - but the quality of the songs is uniformly high, even if they are a little bit unvaried from time to time. "Keep Loving Me Baby" is a souled-up re-recording of one of Sam's early singles from the 50s, and one of his better-known sings. The riff-driven "I Just Want A Little Bit" digs a deep, swinging R&B-groove. "What Have I Done Wrong" is one of Sam's finest, most soulful vocals. The great Lafayette Leake adds wonderful, jazzy piano to the swaggering "I Have The Same Old Blues". And we do get a couple of smouldering solos as well, on "You Belong To Me" and the slow "Stop! You're Hurting Me" in particular.
"Black Magic" is a fine album, made by a contingent of very skilled musicians - Magic Sam himself being one. It's well produced (that is, not over-produced), and it is certainly recommendable to everyone with an interest in both blues and soul. First-time Magic Sam-buyers should start with "West Side Soul", but don't forget to pick this one up either!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This album is sheer beauty. Unlike his other blues counterparts in the city at the time, Magic Sam had a very R&B flavor to his blues - clean, always in tune, using that Fender reverb in ways that Otis, Buddy and others didn't. Yet he had an intensity that truly . . . well, touched me. Magic was a wonderful guitar player - and one hell of a singer. he was a gifted musician.