Blesok no. 59, March-April, 2008
Little Arthur Duncan – Live At Rosa’s Lounge
Delmark DE 793
Even a casual blues fan is aware of importance of Chicago blues scene and its impact on the history of the blues. New generations of Chicago blues are coming, but the spirit of old masters who created this scene is still present and one of the best currently working in Chicago area is Little Arthur Duncan whose new album “Live At Rosa’s Blues Lounge” (Delmark DE 793) easily confirms his status as top blues entertaining attraction. Recorded at the legendary Chicago blues club on one of his regular nights, Little Arthur Duncan presents him in great form doing best what he can, performing true, deep, lowdown blues. His blues are raw, unpolished just the way it’s been done through decades, but sending good feel vibe all the way through to his delighted audience. His blues are entertaining, about having good time and celebrating the joy of life as it is, but never forgetting the hardships of everyday life. His easy going vocals and cool harmonica playing are among his blues trademarks. Backed by an excellent band, top Chicago musicians, guitarists Illinois Slim and Rick Kreher, bassist Michael Azzi and drummer Twist Turner, a legend of his own, Little Arthur Duncan confirms once again his reputation of top Chicago bluesman and this disc will undoubtedly please all fans of fine blues and gain him new devotees. Check more info about Duncan and other great artists on the site: www.delmark.com
Clarence Spady – Just Between Us
Severn Records SEVERN 0045
One of the best independent US record labels definitely is Severn Records whose policy is “Roots music for the 21st Century”! Their recent production include excellent albums by harp player Steve Guyger “Radio Days” (SEVERN CD 0044), Mike Morgan And The Crawl’s “Stronger Every Day” (SEVERN CD 0043) and Clarence Spady’s “Just Between Us” (SEVERN CD 0045). The latter is creating some cool buzz as it has been his first recording after 10 years. Clarence is complete music person, great singer, great guitar player and great writer of songs whose impact on listener never leaves him cold. His vocal and guitar style may recall Robert Cray and artists of such provenience, but Clarence Spady is his own man when it comes to music. He successfully blends blues with soul, rhythm and blues and elements of gospel making it his own original music. He is simply in class of his own and this album easily confirms such statement! Eleven cool tracks are performed with passion and verve of an artist who follows his vision and never lets down. A bunch of great musicians add to overall effect to this fine album which should be checked by all blues fans and music lovers alike. There are no fillers here, personal favorites at the moment being: Just Between Us, Candy, King Of Hearts. Check for more fine release at www.severnrecords.com
Phil Brown – The Jimi Project
Phil Brown is an excellent guitarist from USA whose recorded output and live performances have gained him big reputation among music fans, fellow musicians and music critics alike. One of his recent releases is a collection of Jimi Hendrix songs done in his own inimitable way, one of the best versions of Hendrix songs I’ve heard and I heard a lot of them! Phil Brown has obviously thoroughly studied Hendrix’s output often reading between the lines to grab some hidden nuances transforming these elements in higly personal statement of legendary guitarist, something few dared and missed! Phil does it with his personal stamp, passion of a pioneer and we get rewarded with beautiful and original renditions of material we all know and love and appreciate with a couple of lesser known gems brought to us by great Phil’s musicianship. He has a tone that most others dream about and they play the same guitars?!), but it’s the fingers and feeling that do the thing! Using different patterns and rhythms Phil has managed to create fine interaction of a dedicated artist and spirit of a legend producing one of the best Hendrix tributes anytime, anywhere! All tracks deserve and need to be heard, but my personal favorites at the moment are: Manic Depression, Voodoo Chile, If 6 Was 9, Spanish Castle Magic and Ain’t No Telling.
Check more info on Phil at http://apachesfromparis.com
Alabama Slim & Little Freddie King – The Mighty Flood
Music Maker MMCD66
Now, here we have a real blues beauty! Old blues masters play old blues the way it’s supposed to be played, pure and simple yet full of emotional depth that characterizes their love and devotion to this music they’ve grown with and lived it. Both artists are longtime friends with big respect to each other, both sharing the same vision and affection to the days of the past when blues began. Alabama Slim’s voice is a cross between John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins and he sings his blues with authority of a bluesman with big experience, while Little Freddie King’s unobtrusive and economical backing presents perfect foil for his near storytelling type of performance. Title of this album is a topical one, dedicated to the their city of New Orleans hit by great floods that nearly devastated everything. Both bluesmen were personally struck by this disaster and their story is true and faithful. This is not your average easy going blues, there’s more to it. It requires attention for rewarding listening and these old masters can be proud of their final product. Of course, it might have not happened at all if not helped and supported by enthusiastic people of Music Maker Relief Foundation, one of a kind organization that produces fabulous music by well known and obscure artists, taking care of their social welfare and assisting in many good causes for the benefit of bluesmen and blueswomen whose beautiful music will resonate for many years and thanks to albums like this one, it will live forever.
More info on this great label and its activities can be found at: www.musicmaker.org