Blesok no. 32, May-June, 2003
Jody Williams – Return Of A Legend
Evidence ECD 26120-2
The title of this album is quite rightly justified as it concerns a legendary blues guitar player who, after a number of years of inactivity, returned on the scene confirming his status of Chicago blues master. Guitar sound of Jody Williams has been wonderfully woven into classic fifties’ records by Howlin’ Wolf, Billy Boy Arnold and Bo Diddley while today his style is considered influential among people like Peter Green and Carlos Santana among others! Return Of A Legend features distinguished guests like Billy Boy Arnold and young guitar players who learned their trade by checking out Jody’s library of licks: Sean Costello, Rusty Zinn and Tinsley Ellis. This album features 13 incredible blues gems wont leave you indifferent just like those who awarded this album in category “Best Comeback Album Of The Year” on this year’s edition of “W.C.Handy Awards 2003” in Memphis. Required listening!
Little Hatch – Rock With Me Baby
Acoustic Sounds APO 2012
Eightyone year old Provine Hatch better known as Little Hatch presents his second album for “Acoustic Sounds”, small and independent company known world over for its audiophile recordings. Rock With Me Baby is one of the best albums released last year with top reviews from blues experts and fans alike. Made in the manner of distinguished blues eloquence, Little Hatch’s voice and harmonica transcends the listener to the roots of the genre, to the times when emotions transformed into music spoke stronger than words. With help of acoustic guitar by Jimmy D. Lane, son of the legendary Jimmy Rogers and slide guitar of Ron Edwards,
Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns
If You Got The Blues…
This band of older and experienced musicians (nine of them) is a cooking R&B unit which prefers party music with almost everyday gigs in US clubs. Nobody stands still when this band takes the stage! Their repertoire is mainly covered by well known compositions by other authors with wide stylistic territory from soul of Sam Cooke (A Change Is Gonna Come), R&B (Caldonia, Don’t Fight It, Let The Good Times Roll), funk (Headin’ Down The Beeline) and blues (Why I Sing The Blues, Sweet Home Chicago and Tore Down). These songs sound very polished and are performed with verve and passion by the band who obviously enjoy their work, so do we! Cold Shott & The Hurricane Horns means great blues party!
Keith Christmas – Acoustica
Woronzow Records WOO54
Connoisseurs of British music scene of the sixties remember Keith Christmas as one of the trubadours who successfully blended traditions of medieval English music (Incredible String Band, Tir Na Nog, Forest) with elements of American folk and blues expressions reaching almost cult status among his followers. After a long period of silence Keith Christmas is back with his new album called Acoustica on “Woronzow” label. Title of the album speaks for itself, we have nine instrumental guitar pieces presenting beautiful musical landscape. Spirit of times gone by pervades the music of Keith Christmas in an introspective way and should be experienced in its entirety. This music has a lot of feeling immanent to the blues and Keith’s brilliant execution is incomparable. I would like to say that this is timeless music!
Archie Edwards – The Toronto Sessions
Archie Edwards is relatively unknown bluesman to wider audience, an Afro-American who’s The Toronto Sessions album was released posthumously after his death in 1998 at the age of 80 years. His blues vocabulary is simple and emotional, it only takes his expressive vocal and fine guitar playing to feel to describe beautiful and troubled times in his life. Material on the album is split between his original songs and blues standards by people like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Buddy Moss, Blind Boy Fuller, Leroy Carr and alike.
Dave Hole – The Live One
Provogue PRD 7141 2
Dave Hole is considered as one of the greatest exponents of slide guitar technic, one of the primal blues sounds as popularized by Charley Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Son House, Robert Johnson and later by Elmore James and Muddy Waters in the early fifties of the previous century. Hardly could one assume that sucha master would come from a country geographically and culturally so distant from Mississippi as Australia. Eight albums later (first album Short Fuse Blues released in 1991), Dave Hole has a new one, The Live One on Dutch “Provogue” label, an album which presents Dave Hole at his best bringing out some symbolic moments, namely, it was recorded both in Perth, Australia and Chicago! Unbelievable sounds which Dave can get out of his guitar will leave you breathless, even if you are not some big blues fan. Closing track Bullfrog Blues will have your neighbours evacuate the area and if that’s not enough there’s still Hendrix’ Purple Haze!
Stefan Grossman & Duck Baker – Northern Skies, Southern Blues
Acoustic Music 1128.2
German town of Osnabruck can righlty be called as the center of German blues scene. With a few annual festival, a number of excellent bands including Blues Company of Toscho Todorovic, here we have some of the most important independent record labels, most prominent being “In-Akustik” and “Acoustic Music Records”. The latter one is very well known and beloved among lovers of quality music and a good portion of its releases is dedicated to acoustic blues. One of these albums is Northern Skies, Southen Blues, labour of love by two exceptional instrumentalists who have concentrated their work on studies of blues beginnings. This is a great title for brilliant collection of acoustic guitar duets where feeling for the idiom and perfect musicianship express the beauty of the blues. Stefan Grossman and Duck Baker are real masters in what they do so that “Northern Skies, Southern Blues” will be pride of anyone’s record collection!
Muddy Waters – Library Of Congress Recordings (1941 – 1942), Early Commercial Recordings (1946 – 1950)
Document Records DOCD-5146
Muddy Waters' status in history of the blues has been secured and determined a long time ago, but it is always a joy when some of his unreleased material of this legendary performer appears. Such is the case with material which has recently been released by “Document Records”, small but dedicated label which has specialized in releasing obscure but important material of old blues masters. Working on a farm in Coahoma County, Mississippi, Muddy Waters made his first guitar sounds under the influence of Son Simms and Scott Bohannon and especially his close neighbour Son House. Thanks to Alan Lomax, well known music historian who roamed through American South recording whatever musician he stumbled upon with his primitive recording facilities, we today have recordings that redefine the importance of the blues and are priceless treasure in every aspect. These first takes of Muddy show a musician still trying to find his own voice yet determined that music would be his ticket out of poverty. It doesn’t show what Muddy Waters would later become, but expresses his wish and ambition to learn the mysteries of the instrument and blues in whole and from that standing point these recordings are very important as they round the opus of one of the most important musicians in the history of the music.
Michael Hill’s Blues Mob – Electric Storyland Live
Ruf Records RUF 1088
Blues lovers in Skopje still remember Michael Hill’s Mob concert at Skopje Blues & Soul Festival few years ago; it was one of the best blues concerts ever. Title of this double live CD (Electric Storyland) bears resemblance to Hendrix’ Electric ladyland and will definitely be of interest to all lovers of Michael Hill’s urban blues which include influences of rich New York music scene, a place where he comes from. Music on these CDs was recorded in two locations in Germany; Roadhouse and Union Hall and presents Michaell’s current repertoire, tracks from his recent albums and few surprises for the fans. In Skopje Michael tore the place down with his renditions of songs by Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix among others, while here he does justice to Cream songbook! Closing number Young Folks’ Blues features Ana Popovic, recently nominated for “W.C. Handy Awards 2003”! With his superior and tight trio, Michaell Hill keeps the tension among the audience, rarely achieved by other musicians and that is what sets him apart from others. With music as this your potential party is guaranteed success!