Down the Dirt Road:
Telarc pays homage to Charley Patton, the first great star of the Delta
blues, on Down the Dirt Road: The Songs of Charley Patton. His dark,
passionate singing and fluid, rhythmic guitar playing made him the king
early blues artists. He was an acknowledged celebrity and a seminal
influence on musicians throughout the Mississippi Delta, including
Johnson and Howlin' Wolf. In the 1920's, Patton's records—especially
first, big hit, “Pony Blues”— could be heard on phonographs as far off
St. Louis and Chicago.
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"Ebony & Irony"
Our price: $13.99 | You save: $2.98
Tracy Nelson's body of work stretches even further on her 20th
album release, "Ebony & Irony," providing one more opportunity
to revel in her rich, throaty delivery and heartfelt, gospel-tinged
songcraft. Featuring piano contributions from the great Marcia Ball
as well as an astute mix of originals and covers, the record brims
with honesty and the savvy of a veteran vocal performer.
"Tired of Being Alone"
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Years of backing up legends like James Cotton and Lucky Peterson
have sharpened the playing skills and soulful power of guitarist
Rico McFarland, even while relegating him to relative anonymity.
With his first solo release, "Tired of Being Alone," McFarland uses
his nonflashy blues style, along with the help of contributors like
Otis Clay and Syl Johnson, to work his way through soul, gospel, and
straight-up roots music with equal grace and style.
Doyle Bramhall II & Smokestack
Our price: $13.27 | You save: $0.70
When a musician boasts an impressive pedigree like that of
guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, the pressure is constantly on. After
backing up Jimmie Vaughan in The Fabulous Thunderbirds and
collaborating with Double Trouble and Charlie Sexton in Arc
Angels--hell, his father played drums for Lighnin' Hopkins--every
record is supposed to be a classic. However, "Welcome" is the sound
of a man who doesn't care at all about such peripheral concerns,
preferring to plow through a refreshingly messy set of originals
with raw talent and a carefree love of his instrument.
"Washington Square Memoirs: The Great Urban Folk Boom [BOX SET]"
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"Bait & Switch"
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On "Bait and Switch," Andre Williams continues to provide hipsters
and old-timers alike with raunchy rhythm and blues. Williams's long
career has included stints with Motown Records and recordings with
Parliament, and his latest greasy soul workout features him teaming
up with like-minded letches such as Rudy Ray Moore.
From his beginnings as a Los Angeles session man through his long
solo career to his collaborations with India's V.M. Bhatt and
veteran Cuban musicians Buena Vista Social Club, Ry Cooder has been
through many evolutions in his work. Have a look at his essential
Robert Cray's recent work on "Shoulda Been Home" is terse and
economical, yet awash in musical riches. On the track "Baby's Arms,"
Cray's easygoing pop-blues songcraft is working in full effect. Have
a listen by downloading the track for free, at
Get the best in "Genuine Houserockin' Music" in our Alligator
Check out great artists like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Etta
James in our Chess Store!
POSTED 27 JUNE 2001
"Watch You When You Go"
Roomful of Blues
A genuine blues institution, Roomful of Blues have been touring and
recording seemingly forever. Formed more than 30 years ago, the band
has been home to the likes of Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl, and
has backed a kaleidoscope of big-name performers with their
horn-laden attack and jump-blues swagger. Their new record, "Watch
You When You Go," on the heels of last year's excellent "The
Blues'll Make You Happy, Too," is yet another example of the strong
songwriting and rollicking power that typify their work.
"Outside Looking in"
Dave Hole is Australia's--and possibly the world's--slide guitar
master. His giant, volume-ridden, blues-rock sound comes from his
unique playing technique, which he adopted in order to compensate
for a finger injury. By placing his fingers over the top of the
neck, Hole extracts cascades of blurry chords and meaty riffs from
his six-string, while displaying a thoughtful touch that transcends
mere showmanship. On his latest, "Outside Looking In," Hole finds
the poignant heart of blues music while still providing the sonic
thrill ride his fans expect.
"Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt"
The exquisite country-blues and finger-picked guitar bliss that
Mississippi John Hurt doled out in his 73 years of life has
influenced and charmed entire generations of roots music lovers.
"Avalon Blues," a tribute album devoted to Hurt's music featuring
Chris Smither, Steve Earle, Dave Alvin, and Taj Mahal, is a vital
and compelling testimonial to that fact. Tapping into the old
master's timeless melodies and dignified disposition, this varied
cast of performers succeeds by showing that Hurt's music was both
essential and utterly universal.
"Here & Now"
Proving that he's still got the indefinable swagger that has made
him one of rock, soul, and blues music's more notorious figures, Ike
Turner belts out convincing 12-bar blues on "Here and Now." Leading
off with the signature song "Tore Up," Turner and his Kings of
Rhythm pour it on throughout, blowing through a set of contemporary
blues like the grizzled veterans they are.
"Blues Breakers With Eric Clapt [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED]"
"James Brown's Original Funky Divas"
James Brown is a legendary figure not just for his own music, but
for his tutelage and production efforts with a number of artists,
including an impressive roster of women. From the bluesy shouts of
Elsie Mae through a litany of R&B, soul, and funk performers
like Bea Ford, Vicki Anderson, Lyn Collins, and Yvonne Fair, the
two-CD set "Funky Divas" is a godsend for anyone who enjoys a
hip-swinging good time.
"One Step Closer"
Louisiana's swampy blues sound permeates the music of Baton Rouge
native Kenny Neal on his new disc, "One Step Closer." Featuring
originals and covers of songs from Bob Dylan and Nick Lowe, Neal's
record sounds contemporary, fresh, and gut-wrenchingly soulful all
at the same time.
Buddy Guy has always been a guitarist's guitarist. While the
seven-minute-plus slow blues "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me," from his
"Sweet Tea" album, definitely showcases Guy's brilliant distillation
of classic blues riffing, his vocals also shine and add even more
* Download "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me"