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Docendo Discimus (Vita scholae)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Among Hutto's best, 27 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Slideslinger (Audio CD)
Slide guitarist Joseph Benjamin Hutto and his New Hawks recorded this album on April Fools' Day in 1982, just 14 months before Hutto's death from cancer.
But his illness, if such had indeed been diagnosed, doesn't affect his playing at all...J.B. Hutto's loud, agressive slide work and huge voice sounds as powerful as ever. Much of this material is re-recordings of Hutto's 60s singles (some of which are available on his "Masters Of Modern Blues" LP), but everything gels perfectly, making "Slideslinger" one of Hutto's best records.
There is barely a weak track on this fine album, and not too much musical variation either (most of the songs are basic three-chord blues played in the same key), but that doesn't really matter...J.B. Hutto's fiery renditions of Big Bill Broonzy's "I Feel So Good", Little Walter's "Tell Me Mama", and Elmore James' "Look On Yonder Wall" are superb, and his orginals "Lulu Belle's Here", "That's The Truth" and the slow "My Heart Is Achin' To Love You" rank among his best self-penned songs.
This is powerful, hard-rocking electric blues a la Elmore James and Howlin' Wolf, and it rarely gets any better.
Highly recommended.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band / East-West
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band / East-West
Price: £8.99

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historic!, 20 Sept. 2003
The late Paul Butterfield from Chicago, Illinois was the first white bluesman to develop a style original and powerful enough to place him in the pantheon of true blues greats.

It is really impossible to underestimate the importance of his efforts - before Paul Butterfield came to prominence, white musicians in Britain and the US alike treated the blues with cautious respect, afraid of coming off as inauthentic (and with good reason, too).

But Butterfield cleared the way for white musicians to build upon the blues tradition (instead of merely replicating it), and this release combines his first two albums, "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band" from 1965, and 1966s "East-West".

On "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band", harpist Buttefield and a star-studded band which includes Sam Lay and slide guitarist Michael Bloomfield churn out superb, muscular renditions of Elmore James' "Shake Your Moneymaker" and "Look On Yonder Wall", Little Walter's "Last Night" and "Blues With A Feeling", Junior Parker's "Mystery Train", and Muddy Waters' "I Got My Mojo Working" (with a great, raw lead vocal from drummer Sam Lay).

Bloomfield's and Butterfield's playing is sublime, and the band mixes covers with original songs, the soulful, Elmore James-like "Our Love Is Drifting", the instrumentals "Screamin'" and "Thank You Mr Poobah", and Nick Gravenite's excellent "Born In Chicago".

"East-West" takes its name from the lengthy 13-minute blues-rock solo which closes the album, a fiery fusion of blues and jazz.
It opens with a fine take on "Walkin' Blues" (which is credited to Robert Johnson, who in fact learned it from Son House), and other highlights include "All These Blues", Allen Toussaint's funky "Get Out Of My Life, Woman", which features a great piano solo from Mark Naftalin, and the driving (no pun intended) "Two Trains Running". And while it's not quite as stellar as "The Paul Butterfield Blues Band", there is a lot to like here nevertheless.

Much more muscular and authentic sounding than other early white blues combos, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was one of the most energetic and convincing 60s blues bands, and these are two of their best album, alongside "Better Days", and the oddly titled "The Resurrection Of Pigboy Crabshaw".
4½ stars - highly recommended.

Greatest Hits : Shining Like A National Guitar
Greatest Hits : Shining Like A National Guitar

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best single-disc Paul Simon-collection available, 7 Sept. 2003
The various Paul Simon-compilations that have been released over the years have been an unsatisfying bunch, leaving out some of his best and most succesful songs in favor of his own personal favorites, so none of those collections can be recommended unreservedly.
But "Greatest Hits: Shining Like A National Guitar" remedies that, and it is by far the best such collection ever released, selecting 19 songs from Paul Simon's studio recordings between 1972 and 1997, including all of his ten British chart singles.
Not quite as comprehensive as the double-disc "Paul Simon Anthology", "Shining Like A National Guitar" nevertheless gathers almost all of Simon's very best songs, including "Still Crazy After All These Years", "Graceland", "The Obvious Child", "Mother And Child Reunion", "Slip Slidin' Away", "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", "Take Me To The Mardi Gras", "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard", and of course "You Can Call Me Al".
If you're looking for a place to start, this is it. And if you're looking for just one Paul Simon-collection, this might very well be it as well, especially if you already have the key Simon & Garfunkel-songs (which can be found on "The Paul Simon Anthology").
4½ stars - highly recommended.

Let Me In
Let Me In
Price: £7.59

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable blues-rock and some terrific guitar playing (as usual), 7 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Let Me In (Audio CD)
1991s "Let Me In" features thirteen primarily electric songs, a good, sympathetic little band, and guest appearances by harpist Billy Branch and R&B-veteran Dr John. The good doctor plays piano on several tracks, getting off a particularly terrific solo on "Sugaree", and Billy Branch's amplified harp duets with Johnny Winter's gritty slide guitar on the WInter-penned slow blues "If You got a Good Woman", and plays tasteful fills on a fine cover of Jimmy Reed's "Shame Shame Shame".

"Let Me In" is certainly one of Winters' better latter-day efforts. It featuring some magnificent, blazing guitar playing (of course it does), and a number of really good performances, including the energetic opener, "Illustrated Man", the bubbling, funky swagger of "Medicine Man", and the magnificent acoustic title track, a Son House-like slide guitar blues right out of the Delta. Johnny Winter is one of the best white musicians I have ever heard play the acoustic slide guitar, and this song brings back memories of his masterful playing on Muddy Waters' "Hard Again" album.

And the goodies keep coming. The aforementioned "If you Got a Good Woman" channels the late, great Elmore James, Winter plays a smouldering electric solo on the soulful, if uncharacteristic, ballad "Life Is Hard", and he and Mac Rebennack show off their chops on the Dr John-penned blues-rocker "You Lie Too Much". Oh, and don't forget to notice the jazzy throwback "Blue Mood", a slow, smoky number penned by 50s songwriter Jessie Mae Robinson.

But in order to be fair I also have to mention that Winter's somewhat predictable versions of old-time rockers like "Barefootin'" and "You're Humbuggin' Me" may not be to the liking of those fans who prefer his bluesier side, and there are a couple of bland, generic exercises here which never get really off the ground, particularly "Hey You" and "Got to Find my Baby".
Still, most of this album is really enjoyable, with something for the blues-lovers and something for the rock n' roll fans, too, and "Let Me In" is a very fine purchase for Winter fans, even if it fails to live up to his best 60s and 70s efforts. And Winter's guitar prowess remain almost unchallenged.
A good one! 4 1/4 stars. Yep, have to have that quarter star there...

Live 1992-1993
Live 1992-1993
Offered by Musical Notes
Price: £6.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine latter-day Collins, 7 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Live 1992-1993 (Audio CD)
These performances were recorded shortly before Collins' death in late 1993, but rather than sounding tired, they offer proof that the "Master of the Telecaster" remained a commanding stage presence until the end.
Albert Collins' highly original, percussive guitar playing is still sharp, and his vocals are strong and soulful. He is backed by an excellent band which includes two sax players and a trumpet, and they offer solid backing and the occational soul-revue riff without overwhelming the 60-year old guitarist.
Collins and his band swing on the superb "If You Love Me Like You Say" and the funky "Iceman", and they groove on the eight-minute blues workout "Put The Shoe On The Other Foot".
Other highlights include the rocking "Travelin' South" and the sweaty soul of "Talkin' Woman". And listen to Collins' solo on "Iceman", and his take on T-Bone Walker's classic "T-Bone Shuffle".
This is a strong collection of some of Collins' best and most accessible latter-day material. It is a great place to start if you're new to the music of Albert Collins, and a must-have if you're a fan.
Definitely recommended.

Night Moves (Rmstd)
Night Moves (Rmstd)
Price: £14.82

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun, 7 Sept. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Night Moves (Rmstd) (Audio CD)
If you're looking for simple, straight-ahead, three-chord rock 'n' roll, Bob Seger is your man.
Most of Seger's records suffer from a lack of consistency, and many of his songs simply sound too much alike. But "Night Moves" features some of the best and most original songwriting of Seger's career, and the most varied moods as well.
It's not a perfect record, nor a particularly original one, but it's a good, solid rock album, alternating between up-tempo songs like "The Fire Down Below" and the excellent, fiery rocker "Rock And Roll Never Forgets", mid-tempo grooves like "Sunspot Baby" and "Mary Lou", and ballads like "Ship Of Fools", "Mainstreet" and the title track.
Most of these songs can be found on Seger's two excellent live offerings, and those two remain the best way to get acquainted with his music, collecting virtually every highlight from his 70s and eraly 80s albums.
But if you want to dig a little deeper, "Night Moves" is a good buy. One of Bob Seger's best studio albums for sure.
3 3/4 stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 13, 2015 8:50 AM BST

Serious Hits Live
Serious Hits Live
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £4.23

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good career overview, 7 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Serious Hits Live (Audio CD)
As good as Phil Collins' solo albums can be, they often contain no small amount of "filler", and the slick, glossy production on records like "Face Value" and "No Jacket Required" makes them seem somewhat dated.
But this live album remedies some of that. Although no-one can accuse Phil Collins' horn-laden pop music of being 'gritty', it nevertheless sounds a little more genuine and less over-produced, and the track list is very strong, including almost all of Collins' best songs of the 80s:
The spooky "In The Air Tonight" is here, as is "Take Me Home", "Separate Lives", "A Groovy Kind Of Love" and several others.
There is still too much synth on tracks like "Against All Odds" (an otherwise superb ballad) and "One More Night", but that's what Collins' music is like, and "Serious Hits...Live" remains a good, solid collection of adult pop songs.

Offered by Super Duper
Price: £12.72

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, tough live album, 6 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Stripped (Audio CD)
One of the best live offering from the Stones, "Stripped" is culled from club dates in Amsterdam and Paris, as well as rehearsals in Tokyo and Lisbon.
The sound is excellent, and you get a sense that the band is much "closer" than on your average live album.
There is a sense of urgency all the way through...Mick Jagger's vocals are superb, completely focused, and the band is tight.
The Rolling Stones do an excellent rendition of Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" with some powerful drumming from Charlie Watts, and a great take on Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away", but it's really impossible to talk about highlights here...the entire CD is filled with some of the best performances the Stones have ever released.
They do a wonderful live version of the soulful, gospel-like "Shine A Light", and other rarely-played songs like "The Spider And The Fly", "I'm Free" and Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain".
Also, this rendition of "Wild Horses" has to be the definitive take on that song, and the same can be said for the superb "Dead Flowers" (great solo by Ronnie Wood) and the lean, bluesy "Sweet Virginia".
Many arrangements are primarily or solely acoustic, and Mick Jagger plays the harp on several songs, adding to intimate atmosphere, as well as helping to make "Stripped" such a superb, soulful live album, and a must-own even for casual Stones fans.
Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 12, 2009 7:30 AM BST

Sugar Mama
Sugar Mama

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, acoustic blues, 5 Sept. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sugar Mama (Audio CD)
Tennessee's John Lee 'Sonny Boy' Williamson almost single-handedly made the little mouth organ a major lead instrument for blues bands.
He shouldn't be confused with the older Aleck 'Rice' Miller, who also took (or was given) the name Sonny Boy Williamson...John Lee Williamson was already dead, the victim of a street mugging in 1948, when Miller started his recording career with Trumpet Records in 1951.
John Lee Williamson's first single was 1937's seminal "Good Morning, School Girl", and that song opens this excellent collection which gathers 24 of Williamson's best sides, including "Blue Bird Blues", "Sugar Mama Blues", "Sloppy Drunk Blues", "Decoration Blues", "Got The Bottle Up And Go" and several more.
"Sugar Mama" is a thorough, well-researched compilation, and a great place to start. If you only want one Sonny Boy Williamson-CD in your collection, the double-disc "Bring Another Half Pint" is more thorough, but as an appetizer this one can't be beat.

Anthology, The [Us Import]
Anthology, The [Us Import]
Offered by playanywhere
Price: £29.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough anthology for the fan who wants a little more, 5 Sept. 2003
Rather than swing or groove, Bachman-Turner Overdrive's brand of hard rock borders on heavy metal, plodding along with a big, thudding beat and simple, rhythmic guitar riffs, and featuring Randy Bachman's rough, throaty vocals.
Two discs and 31 tracks are a lot of BTO, and probably too much for most casual listeners...the thing about BTO is that they didn't actually produce too many hidden gems, so almost all of their best songs (with the exception of "Gimme Your Money Please") can be found on the single-disc "Greatest Hits" CD.
But if you do want more, this collection provides it. Not all these many album tracks are great, and some are simply pedestrian, but there is definitely some good stuff here, too.
BTO's solid, guitar-heavy hard rock repertoire included hits like "Takin' Care Of Business", "Let It Ride", "Roll On Down The Highway", "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" and "Lookin' Out For #1", but lesser-known songs like "I'm In Love", "The Letter", "Hold Back The Water", "It's Over", "Take It Like A Man", and C.F. Turner's "Flat Broke Love" and "Heartache" are certainly worth a listen as well.
The previously unreleased, 8½-minute heavy metal workout "Stayed Awake All Night" packs a good punch, too, as does the ten-minute live rendition of "Don't Get Yourself In Trouble".
As usual, serious BTO fans will probably find that some or other worthy album track is missing, but "The Anthology" is actually a pretty good collection for fans of BTO who want a little more than just the hits.
3 3/4 stars.

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