Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blues Music Various Artists Part II

This is another compilation that I picked up just because it looked interesting and had at least a few numbers that I didn't already own. It turns out to be a pretty darn cool mix of styles and oddities from a wide range of blues artists.

Opening with a cool electric blues, "Part Time Love", from Little Johnny Taylor, where he gives us some sharp guitar wranglin'. He kinda reminds me of Albert King, whose "Finger on the Trigger" follows and is obviously a sequel to his hit "The Hunter", and has excellent, piercing lead guitar work. "Sweet Fingers" is a groovin' instrumental while "More Bad Luck" (clearly a reference to his "Born Under a Bad Sign") is a funky blues with more fine guitar. Jimmy Witherspoon's "I Had a Dream" is a slowish, organ/guitar-based gospel-y sound which continues in the threatening "Whose Hat is That". Sunnyland Slim comes in with an upbeat piano boogie, "It's You Baby", augmented by a swingin' horn section and an organ offsetting his piano. The same instrumentation remains in the slower "Brownskin Woman" and then we get Lonnie Johnson's fantastic, jazz-y fretwork in "Another Night to Cry".

I don't think I've heard Homesick James before but his stingin', Elmore James-ish slide guitar in "The Woman I'm Lovin'" certainly makes me want more. Memphis Slim's superior piano playin' drives "Blue and Disgusted" while Otis Spann melds piano, harp and guitar on his low-key "The Blues Never Die" and the mid-tempo "Must Have Been the Devil". There's terrific guitar highlighting Shakey Jake's leisurely "Things Are Different Baby" while Mercy Dee Walton jumps'n'jives in the harp-driven "Five Card Hand". Roosevelt Sykes grooves on his piano with the help of some sassy saxophone on "Miss Ida B" and "Pocketful of Money" and for a closure we get Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee's mournful "Sportin' Life".

This is a fine'n'varied comp of some excellent blues artists. I got it at a greatly discounted price - well worth it if you see it!