"Shoulda Been Home"
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Robert Cray's "Shoulda Been Home" is a welcome development for
soul-blues lovers everywhere. Retaining his familiar style, Cray
interprets original songs from his keyboard player, Jim Pugh, and
delves into the rich history of roots music. As always, Cray's
guitar work is understated and true, and it finds the soulful center
of emotion that resides within these steady, well-worn licks.
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Buddy Guy's "Sweet Tea" brims with inspiration and new blood. With
seven of the nine songs written by Fat Possum Records' Delta
hill-country roots roster (including T-Model Ford and Junior
Kimbrough), Guy finds a dangerous-sounding passion in the heart of
his vintage amplifier. Twisting through this set like a snake
hunting for lunch, the blues legend sounds unleashed, free to
experiment with roots music's timeworn template and determined to
explore a newfound vitality.
"Down Home Live! [LIVE]"
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Buckwheat Zydeco's "Down Home Live!," recorded Thanksgiving 2000,
is yet another tasty treat from frontman Stanley Dural. Typically
high-energy Cajun-flavored, the record is further livened up by
Dural's clever covers of King Curtis and Fats Domino songs.
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The result of turning over their familiar swampy blues-rock sound
to talented producer Don Was, "Lions" is filled with sonic color
even as the Crowes work around an utterly stripped-down groove.
Vibrant and cohesive, it's a record that's meant to be turned up
loud, apologies be damned.
BOOZOO CHAVIS (1930-2001)
Boozoo Chavis--famed bandleader, accordionist, singer, and widely
acknowledged king of Louisiana's vibrant zydeco scene--died on May 5
of heart failure. A traditionalist whose accordion style always
remained faithful to zydeco's rural and Celtic roots, Chavis leaves
not only the legacy of his own music, but also the popular interest
he inspired through his love of the genre. He was a man of class and
joy, who brimmed with enthusiasm and mesmerizing talent.
See all Boozoo Chavis recordings
NEW RELEASE SPOTLIGHT
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Trading vocal chores and classic blues licks, the Hoodoo Kings kick
out a rousing set on their self-titled debut. It's a welcome burst
of familiar sounds, served up without an ounce of pretension.
Buddy Guy has always been a guitarist's guitarist. While the
seven-minute slow blues "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me" from his
"Sweet Tea" album showcases his brilliant distillation of classic
blues riffing and Hendrixian power, his vocals also shine and add
even more emotional weight.
* Download "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me"
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NEW AND NOTABLE Posted 2 May 2001
"Richland Woman Blues"
Rootsier and more traditional than her previous, more pop-based
work, Maria Muldaur's "Richland Woman Blues" represents a return for
Muldaur to the folksy, jug band aesthetic she and
ex-husband/acclaimed folk artist Geoff Muldaur started off with at
the beginning of her career. Featuring an impressive array of guest
stars like Alvin Youngblood Hart and Taj Mahal, it's a solid entry
in her body of work.
"Well Well Well [EXPLICIT LYRICS]"
A fascinating, scattershot collection of tunes and interviews from
R.L. Burnside, recorded between 1986 and 1993, "Well...Well...Well"
offers a uniquely personal window into one of blues music's most
gifted performers. Many of the recordings are transferred directly
from tapes made in New Orleans, South Carolina, and a few spots in
Europe, with Burnside playing and storytelling in sheds, old shotgun
houses, and out-of-the-way venues, often with only his voice and a
rusty guitar. Taken as a whole, it's an illuminating document of
Burnside's dusty Delta roots.
Featuring a seductive mix of Texas blues and Cajun spice, the piano
work of Marcia Ball has never sounded richer than on her new
release, "Presumed Innocent." With a duet featuring Delbert
McClinton and stellar accordion accompaniment from Pat Breaux, Ball
leads a compelling charge through swampy soul music and
R&B-tinged roadhouse blues.
"Spirit of the Century"
Blind Boys of Alabama
With soulful song readings and a compelling mix of the contemporary
and the traditional, "Spirit of the Century" provides both the
spiritual songs that have made Blind Boys a gospel institution and
intriguing tweaks that revitalize the formula. Augmenting their
sound with the instrumental work of John Hammond and Charlie
Musselwhite, the band performs songs by youngsters like Tom Waits
and Ben Harper, producing a record that plays to their strengths
while exploring the bluesy underbelly of gospel music.
"A Portrait of Champion Jack Dupree"
Champion Jack Dupree
They started calling him "Champion" based on his early career as a
pugilist, but the name stuck because of Jack Dupree's barrelhouse
piano blues sound--rough, and tumbling in your face like a
well-thrown haymaker. "A Portrait of Champion Jack Dupree" documents
all the musical elements that characterize his later period: the
aged, rich vocal tone, the confident feel of his hands on the keys,
and the ability to channel his life's experiences into gorgeous,
NEW RELEASE SPOTLIGHT
A momentous collection of blues bliss awaits you on "Pure Blues,"
which features 20 of the most essential blues songs out there. Young
guns like Jonny Lang and Susan Tedeschi alternate tracks with the
likes of Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Etta James, and B.B. King,
bringing to life a selection of standards and originals. It's an
easy way to get some of the best blues going right now--or ever--in
one convenient place.
North Mississippi Allstars
North Mississippi Allstars are a quintessential boogie blues band
right down to the core, but served up with an irreverent punk
aesthetic that gives those ancient chords and slide riffs newfound
power. On "Shake 'Em On Down" from their debut record "Shake Hands
With Shorty" the Allstars reinterpret Junior Kimbrough and Fred
McDowell with cheeky humor, serious chops, and deeply felt, if
gloriously bawdy, respect. You can sample "Shake 'Em On Down'" via
download for free, exclusively at Amazon.com.
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W.C. HANDY AWARDS
The esteemed Dr. John will be doing the presenting, while nominated
artists like Shemekia Copeland and Rod Piazza will be doing the
sweating, at the 2001 W.C. Handy Blues Awards. The ceremony goes
down May 24 at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis. Take a look at the
entire list of nominees, and keep checking the Blues page at
Amazon.com for updates and featured award categories.
W.C. Handy Award Nominations