Top positive review
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The Blues got off its deathbed and danced
on 8 May 2011
This was recorded when blues had lost its popularity with Black Americans. Stax, Motown and James Brown reflected their aspirations much better, expressing self confidence and hope without harking back to plantations, poverty and life as a second class citizen.
There's not a moment of self doubt or worry about a disappearing audience in this session. Junior is right up there, singing his heart out and blowing on his harmonica with hunger and enthusiam - and a touch of menace when necessary. He's hungry,he's got something to say, and he's got the self-confidence to nod in the direction of James Brown without stooping to plagiarism.
Buddy is a sensitive and intelligent accompanist. He knows when to keep in the background, when to push Junior on, and when to step into the spot light and fill in empty bars. He's that rarest of things in the 1960s, a lead guitarist who wants to contribute to the music, not dominate it. If you can think of an album with a better supporting guitarist - in any genre, not just the blues- please put it on the comment page, because I'd love to hear it.
The guys on drums and bass just lay down a nice steady background with no histrionics or unecessary flourishes. It all sounds easy, but it isn't.
This wasn't the best time to be making a blues album. However, it's a classic - arguably the last great blues album.