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    $11.99 $10.88 list($13.98)
    1. On And On
    $11.99 $9.36 list($13.98)
    2. Trouble
    $11.99 $9.95 list($13.98)
    3. Brushfire Fairytales
    $25.49 $23.98 list($31.98)
    4. Ray Charles: Ultimate Hits Collection
    $13.49 $11.84 list($16.98)
    5. Grant Street
    $12.99 $10.75 list($13.98)
    6. Thicker Than Water
    $31.99 $30.65 list($39.98)
    7. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
    $7.99 $6.47 list($11.98)
    8. The Very Best of Ray Charles [Rhino]
    $11.99 $9.99 list($13.98)
    9. Deadwood: Music From HBO Original
    $13.49 $10.97 list($16.98)
    10. A Love Song for Bobby Long
    $13.99 $12.84 list($16.98)
    11. The Duke Meets the Earl
    $13.99 $13.43 list($18.98)
    12. Fever for the Bayou
    $13.49 $11.40 list($16.98)
    13. Live! Down the Road
    $13.99 $10.24 list($18.98)
    14. Blues to the Bone
    $13.49 $7.34 list($18.98)
    15. Me & Mr Johnson
    $9.98 $7.30
    16. At Last!
    $13.99 $13.03 list($18.98)
    17. Healin' Ground
    $12.99 $9.35 list($13.98)
    18. The Ultimate Collection
    $10.99 $9.00 list($11.98)
    19. Modern Sounds In Country and Western
    $13.49 $13.44 list($18.98)
    20. N'Awlinz: Dis Dat Or D'Udda

    1. On And On
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008NG5V
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 259
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Jack Johnson has found himself a groove. Indeed, the Hawaiian surfing champion turned alternative pop-folk star really hasn't changed things one iota for his sophomore release. Fans of Brushfire Fairytales should be delighted with the results. The groove is a mellow one--most of the 16 tracks here are semi-acoustic--and that easy-going spirit filters into Johnson's lyrical philosophies. "What will be will be / And so it goes" he sings on "Times Like These," the opening track. Thankfully, Johnson is never too mellow, and there's a "Don't worry, be happy" vibe to most of his music. "The Horizon Has Been Defeated" even has a pseudo-reggae feel to it. Although classified as an alternative musician, the singer-songwriter's compositions owe much to past hits. "Traffic in the Sky" is reminiscent of Jim Croce's "Operator" and Looking Glass's one-hit-wonder, "Brandy." On the splendid "Taylor," Johnson sounds an awful lot like Donovan. And "By The Way" recalls the Lovin' Spoonful. -- Bill Holdship ... Read more

    Reviews (206)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Means Well
    Jack Johnson's sophomore effort is good; it's nothing more, nothing less. He continues on with some pretty creative songwriting, but fails to take it to a new level. Lyrically he's the same "loveable, I'm a really nice person trying to please everyone" Jack that we grew to love on "Brushfire Fairytails". Some lyrics are quite confusing, for example, a lyrical excerpt from track 2, Jack boldly states "Hallelujah Zig Zag Nothing". Could anyone tell me what that means? Another insightful lyric from track 8, "The children were playing cricket with no shoes." Where does that lyric fit into an acoustic pop album? However, there are several stand out tracks on this album that will no doubt grab your attention. All in all, it's a good album to chill to, but it won't hold your attention for too many listens. One thing definitely remains clear...this guy loves surfing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a genius work that i wish i could better describe
    frankly, words don't do justice...
    I liked Brushfire, but i cannot get over what an incredibly RICH album On and On is! I cannot take this album out of my cd player: at home, in the car, at work, back in the car, and finally at home again. you get the point.

    those who don't see the genius in Jack's soulful simplicity are missing the point. sure, at first, one might think "geez, it's all a bunch of somewhat repetitive chords and basic rhythm structures." well, my advice is that give the lyrics, beats, and melodies a very close listen - a collection of textures and moods that conveyed so beautifully, they'll move. This is one diverse and talented assembly of musicians. These songs are the raw and genuine goods - no additives. There's a time and place for the hoochie-mamma bump-n-grind Miller commercials, this sure ain't it. Amen. this album will remind you what is born of true human thought and talent.
    Please, do yourself a favor and buy this album - then, sit and take in the smoothness of this hawaiian bruddah. pure rapture. Thank you sooo much Jack Johnson for this wonderful gift. You've earned yourself a lifetime of good swells on whichever beach you happen to be surfing. Ikaika brah!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD
    Jack Johnson's On And On is a great CD to just chill and listen to. Has great guitar and vocals throughout the whole CD, not just a few good songs like most. My favorites are Gone, Taylor, Holes To Heaven, and Wasting Time. Also, most of the lyrics on his songs hit deep and actually mean something. I would recommend this album to anyone who likes Ben Harper, John Mayer, or OAR. They all have that mellow and laid back vibe.
    1. Times Like These-great song, i love the verses in the song, not a great chourus
    2.Horizon Has Been Defeated-great sound, not great lyrics but good to listen to
    3.Traffic in the Sky-one of my favorite songs on the album, I believe that many people who wanna mellow out will enjoy this.
    4.Taylor-great guitar, decent lyrics, one of my faves and shows a good message if you pick up the subtext
    5.Gone-in my opinion the best song on the CD, great lyrics and decent music
    6.Cupid-good song not my fav but still good
    7.Wasting Time-decent sound but GREAT lyrics i love how he points out "Everybody else"
    8.Holes to Heaven-good guitar, good lyrics, good vocals, good bass, and good percussion, all around good song
    9.Dreams Be Dreams-like this song because I think Jack shows your part of himself and what he is feeling
    10.Tomorrow Morning-starts kinda slow but still a good mellow out song
    11.Fall Line-again not one of my faves but still easy to listen too
    12.Cookie Jar-nice'n slow
    13.Rodeo Clowns-a little more upbeat kinda reminds me more of ben harper with a little less bongo
    14.Cocoon-very slow and a nice chorus
    15.Mediocre Bad Guys-doesnt sound like typical Jack Johnson but I love the chourus
    16.Symbol in my Driveway-good way to end a CD and I think its a nice song
    Anyone I have ever entroduced this CD to has loved it. No matter the age, sex, race, or anything everyone from my dad to some of my friends we all love it and I would reccomend it to ANYONE

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best
    this cd is mello and relaxed but at the same time it is interesting and ear catching and it is great for repeated listening. it has a simplistic style that cannot be touched is is by far the greatest thing i have heard in a long time.
    im going to go see them in tahoe in august and i can not wait!!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars overwhelmed with overhyped and underfed lyrics
    when jack johnson's audience turned the corner from cult surfing followers to AAA radio america, he didn't change anything and that, right there is a positive. regardless of genre, whenever that corner gets turned on its preverbial head, the music changes - mostly for a poppier and more horid direction. so congrats to jj for staying away from the trap. however, just because he stayed away from the trap, does not validate the critical calls of "classic!"

    cries of deep lyrics are pseudo back handed. when compared to many of his contemporaries, songs like "cookie jar" may hold some weight, but overall this album still enduces those frat boy party mentalities. which, in all honesty, is the audience around the corner - doing a keg stand. it still remains that the height of lyricism remains from the hungry unknowns. if the minimalistic acoustic driven rock is your fancy and you need some lyrics worth a second thought, my you might want to check out Blue-Eyed Son's "West of Lincoln." i heard "The Tide" on a local college station and at first was appauled that his voice reminded me so much of Elliott Smith, but all was soon forgotten with the catchy hooks and wonderful melodies. i broke down and bought the CD and was happy. And if you're reading this review, you might want to think of turning another artist's corner - or at the very least, checking it out.

    there are positives to say about mr. johnson. sure, you throw it on at a party and the guy pouring the shots at the ice luge might hit you with a double b/c of his fascination with this surfing/acoustic ape of an artist. but please, don't fool yourself into thinking that this is some of the greatest song writing of the last century, its not even the best over the past five years. ... Read more


    2. Trouble
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B0002S947K
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 104
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    3. Brushfire Fairytales
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B00005V8PZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 391
    Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Fans of Willy Porter, Ben Harper, and G. Love will all want to check out Jack Johnson's engaging folk- and blues-inflected pop. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Johnson, a former surfer and film-school graduate, has a knack for acoustic ballads whose calm surfaces hide a subtle but strong lyrical undertow. "It seems to me that 'maybe' pretty much always means 'no,'" sings Johnson on "Flake," which features crony Harper on slide guitar. Production by J.P. Plunier (who also handles Harper's recordings) is simple and uncluttered: acoustic guitar and drum tracks share the foreground with Johnson's easygoing vocals, which evoke everyone from G. Love (who recorded Johnson's "Rodeo Clowns" on his Philadelphonic album) to Nick Drake to Willy Porter. And while Johnson may not have Porter's guitar chops, these songs have a relaxed beauty and understated depth that reward repeated listening.--Bill Forman ... Read more

    Reviews (415)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible album from a mellow fellow
    I have owned this cd for quite some time now but only recently has America decided to jump on the Jackwagon. You will be seeing and hearing "Flake" on tv and radio but the real essence of Jack Johnson can be found throughout the album. The thing that sets this artist apart from everyone else is the mere fact that Johnson could care less about being a rock star or selling music, but in writing and delivering his personal songs, he has become just that. But I promise you there is no one better to choose as a role model. Just listen to "The News", a tune about how we broadcast violence in society, or put on a smile and groove to Johnson's "Bubbletoes", a catchy jam inspired by his wife, Kim. (Many thanks to Kim, for rumor has it she is an inspiration for many of Jack's songs.) Those were only two examples but the list could go on and on. Every song is AWESOME. I never could get sick of this album, NEVER. If I could recommend this album to everyone, I would. And I guarantee if more people lived by the principals of Jack Johnson, we would not have to worry about world peace.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Slow down, everyone, you're moving too fast.
    This CD is terrific. Where did this Jack Johnson guy come from?

    I bought this on the recommendation of a friend, for I work in a music store and had seen people, mostly teens in Gothwear, buying it. I thought it would be your usual, angry-rock, run-of-the-mill crap. Boy, was I wrong.

    Jack Johnson's self-titled CD is one of the most fun, studied pieces of pure, instrument-and-rhythm-driven music that I've heard in ages. When it begins, "Inaudible Melodies" is soft, folky, but then the drums come in, the rhythm kicks it up a notch, and Johnson, with his earnest, skilled delivery of the most complicated, tongue-twisting vocals, just wins over your ears.

    And every song on the CD is that good.

    It wasn't until I listened to the whole album that I realized that this is the guy who sings that "Bubble Toes" song. I loved that song whenever it came on the radio, yet I bought the album featured on it without even realizing I'd done so.

    That, in its own way, speaks to Johnson's talent over his hype. I bought this on a lark, and I'm very glad I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome.
    This guy has an incredible amount of talent, both of his cd's have struck me well. You can listen to all of his songs, and be content. Their all good in their own way. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME ALBUM
    I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO SAY OTHER THAN THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS I HAVE EVER HEARD. NO MATTER IF YOU LIKE ROCK, HIP HOP, POP, WHATEVER. IT IS JUST INSANELY GOOD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am a METALHEAD!
    I am a hardcore metalhead (Shadows Fall, Megadeth, Dimmu Borgir, Slayer, Opeth...) but I love this album. This album is beautiful. So good. Buy ... Read more


    4. Ray Charles: Ultimate Hits Collection
    list price: $31.98
    our price: $25.49
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    Asin: B00000I72B
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 24
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This double CD collects not only Brother Ray's best-known '50s and '60s singles, but some choice semi-obscurities (the 1953 jump blues "Mess Around," his 1959 cover of Louis Jordan's "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'") that earn their places next to "What'd I Say" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." The man's originality and infectious feeling bleed through on each of these 36 tracks, whether he's transforming "One Mint Julep" or "America the Beautiful" or collaborating (separately) with Willie Nelson and Chaka Khan. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I will get this double CD to remember Ray......
    I recently read that Ray Charles had passed away. This collection will be something I will buy soon as a way to remember him. Ray Charles transcended many genres and could sing all of them so very well. He still wanted to continue making albums too. Much credit to the handlers for finding these 36 songs and compiling them all into one collection. I still love Hit The Road Jack, America the Beautiful, A Song for You, I'll Be Good To You and many others. His music still lives!

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Ray, All the Time . . .
    What's he say? For black folks, white folks, grey . . . didn't matter to Ray. His gift and talent will be sorely missed. What a voice, what songs! Brother Ray was the inspiration for my starting an R&B group in LA back in '91. We jokingly wished for a radio station to play "all Ray, all the time." We didn't get that wish but we did learn "Shoulda Been Me" and "Let's Get Stoned." My warmest thoughts and prayers go out to Ray up there in that "Big Jam in the Sky," and to Ray's family. What a treasure-trove of sweet music he gave us! God bless Ray Charles!

    5-0 out of 5 stars the reviewer from california needs to check his/her history
    Ray Charles was and still is one of the greatest musicians ever existed!!!!!!! He was also a great songwriter, arranger and producer and the person who wrote review from california needs to check his/her history BIG TIME!!!!!! Although I like "some" of todays artists, they can't TOUCH the chops of Ray Charles. Those cats out today aren't even in the same BALL PARK as "THE RAY"!!!!!!(PERIOD) Ray Charles influenced the musician in me that I am today!!!! Thank GOD for the gift of having such GENIUS that he WAS, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some People Can't Be Educated
    The previous review of this great artist was written by someone who doesn't understand that genius comes in many forms. Interpretation is the source of musical performance. An artist need not write the music he performs. If that were the case, then we shouldn't listen to Mozart. The guy has been dead for centuries! In fact, considering some of the performers the previous reviewer mentioned, I'm not sure they should be writing or "singing" anything.

    Ray Charles was a genius in interpretation of so many genres from gospel to country to blues to R&B to old-fashioned big band singing. He is an artist of the highest order and he will be missed.

    This collection is outstanding in terms of the breadth of Ray's work. If you own one collection, buy this or the Ray Charles Anthology from Rhino Records

    5-0 out of 5 stars HE WILL BE MISSED
    HE WAS A GREAT ARTIST I LOVED ALL HIS SONGS. HE WAS VERY GOOD SINGER SO I WILL MISS HIM VERY MUCH! GODS LOVES YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU RAY CHARLES YOU WILL BE MISSED! ... Read more


    5. Grant Street
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006FO83Y
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 252
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Just as Muhammad Ali once boasted that he could "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," Louisiana's Sonny Landreth can make his slide guitar roar like a rocket ship and dance like a ballerina. As this live set recorded on his home turf attests, few guitarists combine such power with such precision. Landreth’s veteran rhythm section of bassist David Ranson and drummer Kenneth Blevins provides whipcrack support on a set of supercharged instrumentals ("Native Stepson," "Z. Rider," "Pedal to Metal") and original blues ("Broken-Hearted Road," "Wind in Denver"), building to a climax with the guitarist’s signature tune, "Congo Square." Though Landreth established himself as an ace sideman from his apprenticeship with zydeco kingpin Clifton Chenier through his extended stint with John Hiatt, he really cuts loose with his own trio, generating a dynamic propulsion that threatens to levitate this Lafayette dancehall. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Unbelieveable Guitar Work
    Sonny Landreth is unquestionably the finest slide guitarist in the world.Period.Not only that, there are precious few guitarists of any sort - rock, blues, flamenco, or otherwise - that are in his class both in terms of technical mastery of the instrument and sheer beauty of their playing.

    The Grant Street album is up there with Live at Leeds and Live at the Fillmore East as one of the great live recordings ever.The energy and electricity of Sonny's live performances just leap out of the speakers.His guitar playing is positively inspired.A number of other reviewers have referred to this album as the best one released this year.They are correct; nobody will ever regret buying this album.A warning, though.if you've never heard Sonny before be prepared to spend a lot more money on his other albums.The Road We're On and South of I-10 are particularly good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
    Oh my God! We are so lucky to have the talent of Sunny. It just doesn't get any better than this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Only Buy 1 CD the Rest of the Year.....
    This CD absolutely Rocks!I saw Sonny live in N.O. last week; this CD might be even better--maybe!S.L. burns the house down live--go see him!If you love guitar, especially slide--heck even if you just enjoy listening to a rock solid rhythm section, buy this immediately, you will not be disappointed.It rocks from top to bottom.Sonny's vocals have much more passion live than in the studio, thank goodness...Why this guy isn't more well known baffles me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Astouding live CD from the world's best slide guitarist
    If you've never seen Sonny Landreth live, this is the next best thing.If you've been lucky enough to see him perform, this will bring back wonderful memories.Great songs, all written by Sonny, and it's hard to believe that this much music can be coming from just three guys.And these amazing sounds come directly from Sonny's magic hands, not from any technical wizardry.Let's hope that this one nets him the Grammy that he deserves!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, XM satellite radio!!!!
    I might not have discovered this incredible CD had it not been for XM satellite radio. I was listening to Bluesville (Channel 74) the other day when they played the Congo Square track from the Grant Street CD. Even though Sonny Landreth wrote it, the only version I'd heard was by the Neville Brothers. That hardly prepared me for what Sonny does with it. He gets an astounding range of sound - sweet to insanely wild - out of his guitar and reminds me at once of Hendrix, Billy Gibbons and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
    I'd been on a Texas-Louisiana rock binge lately anyway, having been captivated by C.C. Adcock's Lafayette Marquis (another XM discovery for me). Lo and behold, here comes another blast out of Lafayette, Louisiana in the form of hometown boy Sonny Landreth.
    This is guitar-bass-drums rock and roll as wild an innovative and symphonic in its complexity as anything I've ever heard. There are passages on this CD that literally bring tears to my eyes, they're just that soul-satisfying.
    It's got me thinking about a trip to Louisiana to see this guy in person.
    Another reviewer suggested that Grant Street is his favorite album of 2005. Yep. Me too. ... Read more


    6. Thicker Than Water
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $12.99
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    Asin: B0000UX5IY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 778
    Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice surprise
    I picked up this CD on a whim from a local store on a "new releases" rack just because the sepia toned packaging caught my eye. I looked it over and thought "Hmmm, this looks interesting." I put it back down and two days later I went back and got it and I wasn't really sure why other than I was very curious. Especially about the two songs "Underwater Love" and "Thicker Than Water." I have heard of G Love and Jack Johnson, but hadn't heard any of their music before. On first listen I was incredibly pleased at the music on the CD. The song "My Guru" is by now memorized in my head as is "Underwater Love." The song "Thicker Than Water" is really, really beautiful and fills my head with visions of waves and sand and warm air during a dreary and cold Indiana winter. This is the coolest CD I have bought in a long time and came across it by accident. The only problem is now I have to go track down the Smoke City CD's because I am in love with the sound of the lead singer's voice and her vocal stylings. I recommend this CD very highly. It's a great CD to just chill to. You could call it music to nap by, but I prefer to call it music to imagine by. This has become the soundtrack to my daydreams. Try it!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good driving music
    This is an excellent CD to listen to while driving up and down the California coast. Jack Johnson seems to be getting better and better. And The Voyces have a very interesting sound. G. Love delivers as always.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Road Trippin
    I didn't hear of Jack Johnson until I heard On and On at a bar one night and I was floored. After I bought On and On I went out and bought Thicker Than Water and was equally impressed. At first I was thrown off by all these different artists, most of which I never heard of, but after hearing it I was sold. I recently made a trip from Tampa to Boston and back and I listened to this record and On and On for a lot of the trip. The songs are so smooth and put you in a good place.

    1-0 out of 5 stars great music, lame soundtrack
    i gav ethis a one star because it only includes about 1/3 of the actual soundtrack from the movie (which includes the music from the awesome extra footage). they should have made this a two-disc soundtrack, because they left out some GREAT tracks. i expected better from jack johnson and the malloys. the stuff thats on here is great though.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Voyces are in my head.
    A friend of mine showed me this movie a while back and I liked the music in it so much that I had to buy the soundtrack. The Voyces song reminds me of Cat Stevens back when he was good. The title track is really good also. I do skip over some of the songs but I will still recommend. ... Read more


    7. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $31.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007X9U2Y
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 439
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Billie Holiday (1917-59) wore gardenias, was a teenaged prostitute,did drugs, and died with a cop posted outside her hospital bed.But withher gravel-like vocals, and behind-the-beat phrasing, she was one ofthe greatest singers of the twentieth century. This multimedia collectioncommemorates her ninetieth birthday. Two CDs contain forty two of hergreatest hits, from her 1935 stint with Benny Goodman, to her chilling 1958strings album, Lady inSatin. It features her signature songs like "Good MorningHeartache," "God Bless the Child," and her unforgettable anti-lynchingnumber "Strange Fruit." The DVD includes film cameos withDuke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, photographs, posters, rehearsals andinterviews with friends and musicians, including a rediscovered 1956 radiobroadcast with a young Mike Wallace.Her achy artistry is timeless, and asAshley Kahn wrote in his superb liner notes, "Billie will be there tonight,tomorrow night and a long time to come." --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Billie Holiday - by far the best ever
    I purchased this collection solely for the DVD that's included because I have all of the other audio material.The DVD is great!It leaves you wishing for more.It's a pity that this is all we have of the best jazz singer of all time.I'd like to see a movie made of her life;a true story, not the bunk that they gave us with "Lady Sings The Blues" back in the 70's.If you do not own any of Billie's music this is a great starting place.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate starting point (collectors take notice, too)!
    It seems as if every year or two we're looking at a new and improved Billie Holiday anthology, and THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION is the latest and probably best Lady Day introduction to date.As others have mentioned, this set covers her entire career via 42 tracks on two CDs.The set is skimpy on Billie's first decade (albeit we do get such gems as "God Bless The Child").However, you can easily balance that out by one additional purchase: the highly-recommended 2-CD set LADY DAY: THE BEST OF BILLIE HOLIDAY on Sony, which has 38 key tracks from the early years (only three of which are repeated here).Several key tracks from her 1939-1944 Commodore sessions (including "Strange Fruit") and the 1942 cut "Trav'lin' Light" (with Paul Whiteman) offer further proof of this set's wide reach in covering her career.

    Being that the set is produced in collaboration with the Decca and Verve labels, the last fifteen years of Billie's career get excellent coverage.There's a certain point in the 1950s where some Lady Day fans mourn the perceived wear-and-tear in her voice,while others such as myself celebrate the deeper emotive power and increasingly inventive melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic chances she takes with classic pop tunes.Even so, by the final track "I'm A Fool To Want You" (from the much-debated 1958 LADY IN SATIN album) it's difficult for most listeners to not feel 1) pushed away by her fading voice and 2) pulled back in by the communicative power of her heart-on-sleeve phrasing (one error in the set's booklet: this cut is not from her last session).

    The DVD has an effective mix of seen and unseen footage.The 1934 and 1946 movie appearances have been issued in their entirety: here we get some highlights.The key bit of material that will attract Billie Holiday collectors is some newly-uncovered 1956 footage from the STARS OF JAZZ television show (three songs), and there is a 1958 appearance, too.The most famous Lady Day clip (1957's all-star jam on "Fine And Mellow") is seen in its entirety.The DVD also has a clip of Billie's key influences Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, plus lots of other extras that are interesting but mostly not essential.Although some excellent Billie footage didn't make the cut, there's still enough of value on the DVD to recommend it.Add the timeless, extraordinary music on the CDs, and you've got a great introduction to arguably the greatest jazz vocalist of all-time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    Lady Day is timeless&Will never go out of style.this is without a doubt the best all around Compilation on her Work&the DVD is a great collection as well. you get a chance to hear her voice&Material through various era's&whatnot. Her voice just had a way of hitting you emotionally that so few Artists ever reach that Zenith. Her Tone&Feel captures so many things all at once. she died far too young.She is One of My All time Favorite Artists in any Style of Music Period.

    5-0 out of 5 stars KUDOS!!!
    So many great things about this collection its hard to know where to start. This is the first collection to include tracks from ALL the record companies that Billie recorder, not even the Ken Burns compilation touched so much ground. There are tracks that are unavailable in CD until now, like 'Detour Ahead', a classic song. The remastering, specially for the Blue Note and Verve catalog is breathtaking, the best these sides have sounded ever. Package is beatiful, this is one of those Sound + Vision collections, like the Hendrix at Isle of Wight. It includes a COMPLETE sessionography, every session, dates, musicians, places of every song released commercially. It includes a timeline, which is a biography, year by year of the life of lady day,with dozens anddozens of pictures and scans of documents and letters. Wow!! I was really impressed. The DVD also includes a bunch of audio feautures, like interview with Billie, and people who knew Billie. There is a great segment of Billie rehearsing with Jimi Rowles that is pure gold. Live tracks with Basie. The video clips are not remastered, some of them look and sound preety rough. There are more videos of Billie out there, I wish they had included more. The CD's are too heavy on the Verve material, some more Columbia sides with Lester Young could have been better, and where is 'Autumm in New York'? Still, this is a five star collection, recommended both for newbies and long time fans.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, THE definitive overview .... ESSENTIAL
    For years, there have been hundreds if not thousands of imports of Lady Day's music on subpar compilations that don't do her justice, various box sets put out by different record companies in the US (Columbia, Commodore, and Verve all have exhaustive box sets), but no true retrospective that covers the bases in one place.

    Until now. This is one of the best collections of songs ever assembled in one place. Previous retrospectives were great, but because they were usually limited to the respective record label, they fell short.

    In a way, if it wasn't for downloading as well as record companies finally being more willing to compromise, this probably wouldn't have been possible.

    From one of her earliest recording sessions where she sings "Miss Brown To You" to her final recordings where she does "I'm A Fool To Want You", all 42 tracks are classics.

    As if that wasn't enough, you're also getting a DVD of rare TV and film appearances, a lot of which have only been seen in documentaries (except the clips from the "New Orleans" movie Holiday and Louis Armstrong starred in and available on Amazon and contains the "Symphony in Black" short) It also has a few rare audio tracks as well as an interactive timeline. The only criticism (other than it having a slightly higher price tag than it should) is that I would've wanted the clip of "Strange Fruit" to have been included on here (unless I've overlooked it or it's an Easter Egg). But considering there's so little footage of Billie Holliday otherwise, the DVD alone is worth getting the collection for people who have bought previous collections.

    I highly recommend this to anyone who is a music lover of any age. If you own Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra (who was a huge fan of hers) or Nina Simone (or liked Queen Latifah's foray into jazz) this should ABSOLUTELY be part of your music library. If you want to hear what a torch song is and one of the most significant figures of jazz music let alone music, you'll find it here. If you want to hear what is considered one of the most important songs of the 20th Century, it's here.

    This is one of the best collections of music ever assembled, and warrants why more artists from the past should be putting out CD/DVD combos... This package is by far THE standard allcompilations should go by, versus the 1 CD packaging done for the millionth time just to keep an artist's name alive.

    I can't say enough good things about it.

    Frank Sinatra is another artist that should have a comprehensive overview out like this one versusdifferent record companies putting out the different eras. It strengthens a legacy as well as putting something comprehensive for future fans to enjoy.

    (Side note: A couple of compilations that I found are called "Billy Remembers Billie" and "The Milt Gabler Story", which comedian Billy Crystal put together (and amazon.com has it as well). Crystal's uncle Milt Gabler produced Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and others like Louis Jordan and Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock". Crystal has talked about Holiday taking him to his first movie. There's something about personalized compilations that I like though...)

    If there's one CD worth buying this year, this is the one. ... Read more


    8. The Very Best of Ray Charles [Rhino]
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $7.99
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    Asin: B00004R5ZP
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 95
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Flawed CD
    The VERY BEST of Ray Charles? I don't think so. How can you call it that when you leave off Ray's most beautiful ballad "You Don't Know Me." I'm trying to find a CD by Ray Charles that carries "You Don't Know Me," "Georgia on My Mind," "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Hit the Road Jack," "Unchain My Heart," and "Let's Go Get Stoned." Can ANYBODY help me?

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's The Very Best Indeed!
    Hats off to Rhino for another winning single disc anthology that more than lives up to its title. There was a time I had about ten Ray Charles CDs and felt that, while all were worthy, it sure would have been great to have all the best key cuts from the length of his career on one convenient disc. And...here it is! Thankfully, Rhino opted to include the full-length version of "What'd I Say". The cool part about this set is the way you go from "I've Got A Woman" to "Georgia On My Mind" to "Hit The Road Jack" to "Unchain My Heart" in one sitting! Solid notes, decent remastering, all the key hits. What more could anyone ask for? The first and best place to get into Brother Ray's genius...

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Very Best of Ray Charles [Rhino]
    The Very Best of Ray Charles [Rhino]~ Ray Charles is a tremedous singer, musician and entertainer. I loved every song on this stupendous compilation. 5/5.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Essential
    This is the Essential Ray Charles collection. A must have for any fan. It has the best of the best of his recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Best Of Ray Charles In An 18-track CD? Can't Be Done
    I would think that, after putting this together and then releasing it in 2000, the folks at Rhino likely wished they had come up with a better title like, say, "18 Of His Very Best." Because, quite frankly, I don't believe it's possible to squeeze the "very best" of Ray Charles into one 18-track CD.

    After all, the man put 76 selections into the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1989, and from 1949 to 1993 added another 26 that scored only on the R&B Top 100 singles charts [most of the others charted on both].

    As another reviewer points out, there are far too many notable omissions which, by any definition, would have to be included in anything labelled his "very best." For example, while track 5 was a solid R&B hit in 1959 [# 5], but a low # 95 on the pop charts, songs like You Don't Know Me [# 2 pop/# 5 R&B], Take These Chains From My Heart [# 7 R&B/# 8 pop], Crying Time [# 5 R&B/# 6 pop], Here We Go Again [# 5 R&B/# 15 pop], and Yesterday [# 9 R&B/# 25 pop] were smash hits on both.

    However, if you can get past the title and just accept these as 18 of his very best it is a welcome addition to any Ray Charles collection. Five pages of informative background notes written by Bill Dahl, and several more shots of Ray, are augmented by a complete discography of the contents showing label and chart details and the musicians involved on each track. The sound reproduction is flawless. ... Read more


    9. Deadwood: Music From HBO Original Series
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B00076YPUI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 593
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The West of veteran TV writer/Deadwoodcreator David Milch is as grim as it is gritty, sprinkled with salty dialogue and punctuated by sudden brutality and raw sexuality. The original soundtrack cues by composer David Schwartz (represented here by his evocative show theme), Michael Brook and Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek play off that vision with often stark rootsiness. But it's the series' rich slate of songs -- choices whose inventiveness often rivals that of The Sopranos -- that consistently reinforce its all-too-human drama, if not the crusty veneer. This collection gathers the best songs from the series' first season, coloring the milieu with evocative hillbilly romps like Michael Hurley's "Hog of the Forsaken" and the a capella grace of Margaret's Native American "Creek Lullaby." But the collection's musical eclecticism stretches far beyond mere genre concerns, variously encompassing the nascent jazz of Jelly Roll Morton (a rollicking "Stars and Stripes Forever"), Delta blues of Bukka White and Mississippi John Hurt and even Gustavo Santaolalla's hypnotic Brazilian fretwork. But the collection's country and folk-tinged performances are its most resonant, whether invoking earthy traditions (the gospel fervor of the late June Carter Cash's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's more heretical "God and Man") or more contemporary stylings like Lyle Lovett's "Old Friend" and the gentle "Twisted Little Man" by Michael J. Sheehy.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great companion to the show
    Since Carnivale is in such dire straits, I've really gotten into this HBO show, which serves as a good replacement in my heart. For those not in the know, its a gritty, violent western that takes place in the gold-mining camp of Deadwood, where famous names like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane traipse through. I knew I would enjoy the soundtrack, as it had a lot of blues and country stuff I was familiar with. June Carter Cash singing 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken' would turn even the most hardcore atheist into a believer, and the Bukka White and the Jelly Roll Morton tracks were great too, but there were so many other amazing surprises on it for me. Top song is called 'Hog of the Forsaken' and is this nuts piece of fiddle and yodel and lunatic lyrics. I loved it. There are other tracks on the CD that are good songs, but do not work within the context of the show, specifically 'Twisted Little Man', which doesn't sound very western at all. Still, a high quality selection of tracks, and the show soundbites on the disc, which contain more cussin' then Tarantino in the shower, are great too.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dusty, grim and sometimes poignant (like the series)
    As a fan of the series Deadwood, I found this soundtrack CD to be both satisfying on its own merits and a successful evocation of the spirit of the series.It contains a lot of authentic American music that has the traditional feeling appropriate to the Old West setting of the show.There's gospel, folk, country, blues, and many pieces of miscellaneous instrumental music.It's telling that when the music producers wanted a true-sounding version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," they went to the source, June Carter Cash.I also like the fact that they filled their show and this disc with many excellent songs by relatively unknown artists like Mark Lee Scott and Michael Sheehy.However, I think my very favorite music from the CD are some of the instrumentals, especially the themes by Gustavo Santaolallo and the great Michael Brook.In between the music, there's also a great deal of dialogue samples from the show -- and that's what gives the CD its parental advisory label.(The presence of strong language in those dialogue samples will be no surprise to anyone who has seen Deadwood!) ... Read more


    10. A Love Song for Bobby Long
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0006SST72
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 431
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely songs; Sleeper Film.
    This is very nice compilation of thoughtful ballads, some of lesser known singers and writers.Travolta can carry a tune (it would appear).His singing meshes well with his character in this charming movie.All things considered, this is a rathr good, enjoyable film.I especially like the numerous literary references.I am commenting on both the soundtrack and film, as both are worry of listening and viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grayson Capps
    This is an incredible soundtrack not to mention a great little independent film. Don't listen to the critics on this one because the majority of them are flat out wrong. There should be more movies like this with compelling stories, strong acting and sweet music. Much better than the blockbuster trash that's so prevalant today. Anyhow, check out the soundtrack if only for the great New Orleans singer/songwriter Grayson Capps -- who's a little known gem from that historic music town. The rest of the soundtrack is worthy too...with tracks by Thalia Zedek, Trespassers William (another little known band that is pretty incredible), Los Lobos, Nada Surf, lots of rare blues and two sweet little songs by John Travolta. I couldn't have made a better mix of music myself! ... Read more


    11. The Duke Meets the Earl
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B0007PICXA
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 432
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl are among blues guitar's hottest pistols, but their first studio union is no showdown. Although Robillard is steeped in all aspects of technique and Earl is a pure "soul" player, their styles overlap in the Texas and Chicago schools, which grant both giants plenty of space for elegant and biting single-note solos, daredevil string-bending, and chugging rhythms. Robillard sings two numbers and "Mighty" Sam McClain, whose red-clay voice is the perfect foil for their emotional fretwork, guests on Earl's heartbroken epic "A Soul That's Been Abused." The real mojo, however, is in the instrumentals, where these virtuosos who emerged from the New England scene to achieve worldwide acclaim maintain a beatific dialogue. They both swing like T-Bone Walker on "Two Bones and a Pick" and trade sliding chords and slide guitar licks on "Zeb's Thing," which dips into down-home Mississippi grit. The highlight is "My Tears," on which Robillard sings sad and dirty, Earl turns sustained notes into Zen koans, and both players stretch their flair for dynamics and brilliant, unhurried, lyrical playing to its limit. Fans of blues guitar need to hear this album. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You must already know
    If you're reading this review, chances are you're a fan or one if not both of these men. You know about Roomful of Blues and the Broadcasters and you could even be from New England. Maybe you're just a very astute afficionado of the blues. What you're probably looking for is confirmation that this album is as good as you've made it out to be in your mind. You're in luck, it is. What this is not is two guys calling each other out for a showdown at high noon. What it is is two good friends and two exceptional guitar players jamming together and making exceptional music for the joy of playing together. We're just lucky enough to be able to take home the finished product. If you're a blues fan or a guitar man (or woman), your collection's not complete without this one. It's a dandy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you like Blues Guitar, buy this CD
    Ok, I love blues guitar playing and these guys are two of the best. Duke Robillard was one of the founders of Room Full Of Blues and and Ronnie Earl was their lead guitar player for a while after Duke left to go out on his own. They play together wonderfully. The recorded tone of their guitars is superb as is their choices of tunes to play. If you like blues guitar playing, but this CD. You will not be sorry. This is a great blues guitar album!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Fun album
    This is basically Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard jamming over basic Blues songs. A highlight is Mighty Sam McClain's vocals on "A soul that's been abused." As for the guitar work, there's a lot of repetitiveness and redundancy on both sides. The presence of the two single guitars is so overpowering, there are almost no real intense band moments on the CD. Both play their usual time-tested licks. Maybe the price you pay for success...getting lazier and not pushing the envelope of the genre anymore? We can still be grateful that fine Blues albums like this exist, but I expected more from two modern veterans of the Blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Must Be Dreaming!!!!!
    Today I was scanning the blues section and came to my favorite guitarists page (Ronnie Earl)I rubbed my eyes and looked again.Yes!! Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard together at last.This disk will be in your player for a long time.The best guitar,blues,soul whatever you may call it music of the year.Check out Mighty Sam McClain on A Soul thats been abused.Love the opening and Sams voice SPECTACULAR!Guitar players take note-the stakes have been raised.Awesome guitar by two of the best players around.What a Dream indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely a keeper!
    Excellent blues guitar with a touch of soul.I lucked into this CD when I heard the track "West Side Shuffle" on the radio, WOW. ... Read more


    12. Fever for the Bayou
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0007QJ1IO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 700
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Houma homeboy Tab Benoit may have snuck up on some blues fans, but his status as the best and brightest of modern Louisiana bluesmen is now too obvious for any to ignore. His swamp-saturated sound and incisive Telecaster attack, also heard on the Whiskey Store and Whiskey Store Live dueling-guitar albums with Jimmy Thackery, easily personalizes classics, such as Elmore James's "I Can't Hold Out," featured here with saxist Jimmy Carpenter. But Benoit's at his best with the bayou beat. As on 2003's The Sea Saint Sessions, Benoit spotlights the musical heritage of New Orleans by using two guest vocalists who are Crescent City icons: Mardi Gras Indian "Big Chief" Monk Boudreaux and dynastic percussionist/vocalist/composer Cyrille Neville. Boudreaux vocally parades through "Golden Crown" at a fittingly funky Mardi Gras tempo, while Neville provides two songs: the percussion-embellished "Little Girl Blues" and the history lesson "The Blues Is Here to Stay," on which he vocally duets with Benoit between some of the album's best guitar work.

    Buddy Guy's "I Smell a Rat" is the album's longest track as Benoit, beginning with a tasty intro, takes his most extended guitar workout, conjuring up a late-night blues club feel in the process. Benoit also contributes three originals, including the zydeco-tinged title track, an anthem of Cajun pride that serves him well as a signature song. Also his is the swamp stomper "Night Train," the album opener. At the other end is a surprise finale, a sublime front-porch, finger-picking acoustic rendition of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". --Michael Point ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get The Fever
    If you like Tab Benoit, The Blues or Cajun Spiced Music you will LOVE this CD.In fact, buy TWO--- one for yourself and one to impress your friends with your great taste in music!It is worth every cent.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I like this.
    I liked this cd from start to finish.It starts out with night train,a song that strangley reminds me of creedence.I also like the blues song i smell a rat.I think tab is one of the finest new blues guitar players today.Get this if your into the blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly his best CD yet
    Tab quickly became one of my favorite guitarists when I first heard him, and this new CD shows that he is still getting better.He is one of those all-too-rare musicians that can make you stop whatever else you might be doing and just listen."I Smell a Rat" is my favorite Buddy Guy song and I wasn't sure how Tab would do with it, but his version is excellent.Any blues fan should buy this immediately.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Killer
    His best CD yet...I've been playing it for several days now....Very few cd's make that cut. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blues from the heart
    This is great! You could start and finish your review with that simple statement. I always admired Mr. Benoit work, however from my point of view this has to be his best effort to date. This album is one of the best blues CD I have ever came across. Marvellous guitar playing and even better singing throughout the entire work. If you are looking for a true "blues" CD, a blues CD with the capital "B", played the way it meant to be, do not waste your time looking for more, you have found it. More than very highly recommended this is just an essential purchase for all the blues fan around the word. For sure one of the best release so far in 2005 and maybe one of the best ever. Just pick it up and you wont be disappointed. ... Read more


    13. Live! Down the Road
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007YMV2O
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1996
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    Album Description

    For more than 30 years, Ball has been delivering her signature brand of Texas blues, Louisiana R&B and Gulf Coast swamp pop to audiences all over the world. She has earned a huge and intensely loyal following through critically acclaimed albums and continued non-stop touring. Live, she’s simply unbeatable

    LIVE! DOWN THE ROAD, a blistering set recorded at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in 2004. The CD mixes songs from throughout her career, including longtime fan favorites like La Ti Da and Crawfishin’ as well as newer material like Louella. Ball gives each song the workout of a lifetime, reinventing and reinvigorating every track with the immediacy and fire only a live show can deliver. ... Read more


    14. Blues to the Bone
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00022LJ8S
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 762
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Californian Etta James decided against accepting filmmaker Martin Scorcese's personal invitation to sing at The Blues gala in New York in early 2003. The well-celebrated soul and blues queen makes amends here with what is one of the most blues-centered recordings in her expansive discography, bringing her big, no-nonsense voice and her feisty, proud woman's point of view to bear on classics, many identified with Chicago. The likes of Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'," Jimmy Reed's "Hush Hush," and Muddy Waters's "Got My Mojo Working" may be hackneyed choices, but she seizes each of a dozen as her own, and clearly, as she says herself, these are the blues songs that touch her the deepest. No argument here. --Frank-John Hadley ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars ETTA JUST KEEPS GETTIN' BETTA'
    The legendary Etta James has said that she was inspired to record this album after seeing the PBS TV series "The Blues" produced by Martin Scorcese.

    Referring to the series James said, "What I found was so full of what life is about: being born and dying; joy and sorrow; salvation and sin......As I started reaching deeper I realized that most of the blues of that day was done by men. Women just didn't have the nerve. So I thought it was about time to show them what these songs might sound like coming from a whole different point of view."

    Surely can't comment on the differences between points of view but I can say this is one terrific album - a must-have for blues aficionados. "Honey Don't Tear My Clothes" is unbelievable, as is "Don't Start Me Talking."

    Featured on the album are James's sons Donto James and Sametto James; guitarists Josh Sklair and Bobby Murray plus harmonica player John "Juke" Logan. Liner notes are by Martin Scorcese.

    This one's a keeper!

    - Gail Cooke

    5-0 out of 5 stars Style and instrumental magic
    Etta James oozes style and toughness with grace and her music is all about her perfect tempo timing. This cd is delicious combinations of rhythum and musical magic that is the epitome of Ella the woman but her voice has a rougher texture to it now that you may or may not appreciate compared with her voice from 20 years ago. I love the instrumentals, the arrangements and the emotional intensity of this cd. I have adored many tracks Etta has poured herself into and although this cd is not my favorite, it's still a spectacular gift to the library of recorded music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love Etta and love blues to the bone
    This is awesome. Everytime she comes out with a cd I think that it's the best she can do and then comes a new one that is even better. I love her voice, I love her style and I love seeing this woman in concert. These songs rock and Little Red Rooster is awesome. I love her jazz stuff too, but when she does a blues cd (like this one) it blows me away. Get this cd and rock out! ... Read more


    15. Me & Mr Johnson
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0001HAHXW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 72
    Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It's impossible to overemphasize the importance of singer-guitarist-songwriter Robert Johnson's contribution to blues music. The same can be said of Eric Clapton, one of Mr. Johnson's most dedicated interpreters. From his work with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to Cream and beyond, Clapton has arguably attracted more widespread attention to Johnson's music than any other living musician. A decade after his all-blues From the Cradle (which included no Johnson material), Clapton jumps into the icon's catalog with both feet by covering 14 Johnson tunes. With a stripped-down veteran band that includes such longtime associates as drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Billy Preston, and harmonica ace Jerry Portnoy, the guitarist attacks these songs with passion, intelligence, and a refreshing lack of blues-rock pretense. From the upbeat jump of "32-20 Blues" and "They're Red Hot" to the slower, grinding "Little Queen of Spades" and "Milkcow's Calf Blues," Clapton acquits himself well, eschewing his slicker inclinations with arrangements that underscore Johnson's rawest tendencies--although perhaps he doesn't seem sufficiently terrified when walking with Lucifer on "Me and the Devil Blues." Still, this is a successful and admirable return to his roots, one that will hopefully introduce an even larger audience to Johnson's seminal work. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more

    Reviews (182)

    4-0 out of 5 stars + 1/2 stars...Clapton Shares His Vision of Musical Mentor
    It's been ten years since Clapton's FROM THE CRADLE, where he paid tribute to such blues influences as Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. But it's been decades since he last recorded anything by Robert Johnson, whom Clapton refers to in his liner notes as "the keystone of my musical foundation." In 1965, a 20-year-old Clapton first recorded Robert Johnson's "Ramblin' on My Mind"; nearly forty years later he finally releases an entire album of the blues legend's material.

    On first listening I was disappointed by the polished feel of the recordings. Clapton continues to surround himself with top-nitch musicians, many have been playing on his records for years now, including Andy Fairweather Low and Doyle Branhall II on guitars, Billy Preston on organ and piano. Now, after repeated listenings, I can apreciate these interpretations for the intensity that Clapton found in the originals. Whether it's the smoldering version of "Milkcow's Calf Blues" or the ragtime bounce of "They're Red Hot," the purity of the music shines through. What fans (and my fellow reviewers) need to remember is that Clapton didn't record this album with the idea of replicating Johnson's original recordings, but rather to offer his vision. In his liner notes Clapton says Johnson's music "is like my oldest friend, always in the back of my head, and on the horizon." With this album, Clapton shares that friendship. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    3-0 out of 5 stars So-so
    To me "Me And Mr Johnson" is neither very bad nor very good.
    The arrangements are mostly acoustic, with some electric numbers thrown in for good measure, but almost every song is recorded using a full band which includes drums, keyboards, and two or three guitars. Whether or not you consider that an improvment is a matter of taste, I suppose...a few of the arrangements are certainly too cluttered for my taste, and considering how good Clapton's last pure blues album, "From The Cradle", was, "Me And Mr Johnson" is a bit of a disappointment. And the sound is surprisingly mediocre...it's flat and dull, certainly not what you would expect from a 2004 release. Or maybe mine is a Monday pressing.

    Hardcore Clapton fans will probably want to check it out, but most people would be better off listening to Robert Johnson playing Robert Johnson, rather than spend their money on these indisctinct performances.
    2 3/4 stars. Proceed with caution.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where god came from...
    In the beginning, there was Robert Johnson. And he was great. He wrote some of the tastiest blues songs ever put down on tape.

    In the sixties, Eric Clapton rose to guitar divinity with John Mayall and a band named 'Cream. He became one of the most respected in a long line of guitar hero's.

    Me and Mr. Johnson is Clapton's homage to his mentor. It is a reworking of the primitive original delta sound of Robert Johnson into the smoother interpretations of ERic Clapton. But the result is, in my opinion, the best Eric Clapton album since From The Cradle.

    This album will grow on you. Listen to it at least five times before you make up your mind.

    It is, in its own way, a masterpiece. Traveling Riverside Blues and Milkcow Blues are especially delightful.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Come On In My Kitchen
    Many years ago, the graffito "Clapton is God" started appearing on brick walls all over the western world. As we all know, God can create things the way She wants, and sometimes, her choices are a little strange.

    Face it, Clapton has probably done more than any modern artist to bring Robert Johnson's music to a wide, popular audience. If he'd wanted to, he could've done note-for-note, "pure" covers of all 19 of Johnson's compositions. He's got the chops, and he's good for it. But if he had done so, it would;ve been no more than an empty, mindless exercise in musical impression. Of anyone, Clapton has earned the right to record these tunes any way he wants.

    I think he does a great job with this album. His arrangements are vivid and unique. From the mischevious "They're Red Hot" to the spooky, mournful "Me and the Devil", he gives each song in this album a new life, and he gives us a new way of listening.

    I think the production was just a tad too slick, which is the only reason I stopped at four stars. This is definitely Robert Johnson "lite", but I enjoyed hearing Clapton's creativity and genius in this recording. I think it's a heartfelt tribute to Mr. Johnson and to classic blues, from someone who's been standing at the crossroads for a long, long time.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 36 HOURS OF DRIVING, WORTH IT
    I LIVE IN HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA. I DROVE 18 HOURS TO TORONTO AND 18 HOURS BACK HOME AGAIN IN ORDER TO SEE ONE OF MY HEROES, ERIC CLAPTON PERFORM LIVE. THE MAN DID NOT DISAPPOINT. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD EVER SEEN HIM LIVE. I HAD TRIED 2 OTHER TIMES WHEN HE WAS IN CANADA IN THE LAST 8 YEARS TO GET TICKETS TO SEE HIM BUT ON EACH OCCASSION, I FOUND OUT TOO LATE AND COULD NOT GET ANY TICKETS. THIS TIME, I WAS LUCKY. THE LIVE ERIC CLAPTON PROVIDES SPARK AND ENERGY THAT IS MISSING FROM THE STUDIO RECORDINGS OF "ME AND MR. JOHNSON". I TOO, THINK THAT, FOR THE RAW AND ORIGINAL BLUES PURITY OF THESE SONGS THEY ARE BEST HEARD PLAYED BY MR. JOHNSON HIMSELF. BUT, NEXT TO THAT, GIVE ME ERIC ANY DAY. AND WOULD I DRIVE THE 18 HOURS TO SEE HIM AGAIN, YOU BET. IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY WE SPENT GETTING THERE AND BACK HOME AGAIN. I'M A CHRISTIAN AND CAN'T QUITE BRING MYSELF TO CALLING HIM A GOD, BUT HE'S CERTAINLY AN ANGEL. ... Read more


    16. At Last!
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
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    Asin: B00000JNNY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1455
    Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nobody sings the Blues like "Miss Peaches"!
    Etta James shares her devine gift of a voice with millions who appreciate her wonderful music. The heartfelt "At Last" is the definitive wedding song. The rendition of "Stormy Weather" rivals the Lena Horne version, and "A Sunday Kind of Love" proves that Etta James is American Blues Royalty. When you listen to a heartbroken Etta James declaring "All I Could Do Was Cry", you feel the pain of a hurt teenager. -- "Miss Peaches" is one of the great R&B/Jazz singers of our time. This CD covers 14 of her best loved songs. It is a treasured part of my music collection, and I can highly recommend it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Sexuality!
    Wow! If you're looking for a new way to romance the one you love, look no further than At Last by Etta James! Forget Bolero, lite rock and smooth jazz! Her voice is raw and powerful and will reach into the deepest part of your "soul." Most renditions of Stormy Weather try to be Lena Horne sound alikes and it just doesn't work. Etta James takes the song and turns it into pure heaven with her delivery and straightforward style. I knew she sang At Last, but when I heard the Diet Coke Commercial with I Just Want to Make Love to You -- I knew it was her and just had to find out more! This one cut is worth the price of the CD if you like your blues down and dirty. Many Cds engineered from older sources have the scratchy background (just like an LP). At Last is clear and has an excellent quality. I've listened to other Cds of Etta and this one, in my opinion, is her best. Each song showcases her remarkable flexibility and power to take a simple melody and make it memorable! Buy this one NOW.

    5-0 out of 5 stars American Blues = Lady Day, Pearl...and "Miss Peaches"!
    Few voices in R&B History rival that of the lovely Etta James. The Blues Legend shares her devine gift of a voice with millions who appreciate her wonderful music. The heartfelt "At Last" is the definitive wedding song. The rendition of "Stormy Weather" rivals the Lena Horne version, and "A Sunday Kind of Love" proves that Etta James is American Blues Royalty. When you listen to a heartbroken Etta James declaring "All I Could Do Was Cry", you feel the pain of a hurt teenager.

    "Miss Peaches" is one of the great R&B/Jazz singers of our time. This CD covers 14 of her best loved songs. It is a treasured part of my music collection, and I can highly recommend it!*****

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ms. James Is Exceptional!
    My goodness. Etta is a goddess! Her voice sounds like an angel straight from heaven. Although Etta's voice is raw and powerful, it has a beauty to it that is completely unique to her. Not to mention, how can you forget the classic songs on this album, like "At Last" and "Sunday Kind of Love". You must check out this album. Etta's voice is like no other!

    5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful wonderful
    I love this CD. I had never heard of Etta James until I heard this CD recently and within an hour I was online ordering it. Very bluesy. Love every song on it. I really recommend it to anyone who loves blues or jazz. ... Read more


    17. Healin' Ground
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0008191CE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3722
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The former Nighthawk opens this set with "Let the Guitar Do the Work," and it's best when his does. The instrumental "Fender Bender" is a rockin' tribute to the Stratocaster. Thackery decorates a sinuous melody with fiery little embellishments, from tasteful dips of the whammy bar and soaring modulations to moaning bends. "Kickin' Chicken" blends roadhouse country with T-Bone Walker swing and Henry Mancini's "A Shot in the Dark" becomes a surf classic under his expert fingers. This album also includes some of Thackery's best vocal performances. He bites hard into the lyrics of the state-of-the-world report "Devil's Toolbox" and goes for soul on the ballad "Had Enough." Muddy Waters gets a nod, too, in "Can't Lose What You Never Had," where Thackery imitates the master's keening, insistent slide. But even when the guitars are in the background, piled up to build tremolo-laden textures or twanging out shuffle rhythms, they have a persistent intensity that keeps this disc lively and kickin'. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Tone!!
    If you've never heard of Jimmy Thackery, you've been missing some of the best of modern electric blues. Drive to Survive, Jimmy Thackery Guitar, Wild Night Out were perhaps his best. Now add Healin' Ground to that list. The ole Jimmy Thackery Tone is back and man does that Strat sound sweat. Being a blues affectionato and a strat player as well, I was treated to one heck of a musical experience on this CD. Fender Bender is one of his best cuts(too bad it wasn't around before he completed "Jimmy Thackery Guitar" it would have made that cut). Healin' Ground is the Jimmy Thackery we've all come to know from the past. This CD is a winner!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jimmy's "Nashville" album
    The pleasures on this album are more subtle than jaw dropping. At first I thought I was going to hold it against Jimmy that he doesn't really let loose with any "thunderbolts" on this album. Then I realized that in stressing technique over firepower, Mr. Thackery may have just come up with the most well rounded album of his career. Overall, a little bit more of a country sound than I'm used to but kudos to J.T. for mixing it up a little. Well done!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?
    If you aren't already a fan of Jimmy Thackery, then this album should convert you to the fold.This album rocks from the first and the ride keeps going until the bluesy ending at track 11.The only full time Driver on this disc is Mark Stutso who delivers some fine vocal work on two tracks.But Jimmy is the star in every sense on this outing.His guitar work is flawless and his vocals are terrific.Grab this one and you'll be hooked.And as one previous review stated, don't miss a chance to catch Thackery and the Drivers live.It's one heck of a show and you'll be even more impressed with Jimmy as a player live than you are by his recordings and, people that is saying a lot!Great stuff.Put this one on your don't miss list.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I agree, his best yet
    This is an excellant release for JT & the Drivers, his guitar sounds as powerful as ever and his vocals are the best he's recorded so far.The Drivers are the as tight as every. I also hear more piano on this that is kinda a change for Thackery.It's Kevin McKendree on the keys along with the records Producer Gary Nickolson, both who play with my all time favorite Delbert McClinton.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thackery's BestWork!
    This is a great disc that doesn't have a bad song on it and is already one of my favorites.Jimmy's guitar playing is awesome, especially on cuts like "Fender Bender" and the tone on "Had Enough" is amazing. "Healin Ground" and "Devils Toolbox" are rockin little numbers that really jump and "Shot In The Dark" is just cool! Jimmy can play any style from blues to rock to jazz to country, and play them as good or better than anyone playing. Jimmy Thackery is as great a live act as any guitar player you will ever see. If you see him one time you will be a fan for life. This disc is an absolute must for anyone who loves great guitar playing. Buy this disc, you wont be sorry. ... Read more


    18. The Ultimate Collection
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $12.99
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    Asin: B0007QJ1PM
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1169
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    B.B. King's music has been anthologized and put in box sets many times, but this is the first single-disc collection that truly spans the American icon's career. It starts with his breakthrough 1951 No. 1 R&B hit "Three O'Clock Blues" and ends, chronologically, with 2000's "Ten Long Years" from his platinum-selling, pop-chart-topping smash collaboration with Eric Clapton, Riding with the King. In between there are 19 numbers that trace King's creative peaks (1969's "The Thrill is Gone," 1960's "Rock Me Baby") and valleys (1973's disco-inspired "I Like to Live the Love"). And they all tell the story of his growth as a performer. As the years and tunes tumble by, King's guitar solos become more expansive and adventurous, and his cross-genre experiments, like 1987's "When Love Come to Town" with U2, grow bolder. "I'll Survive," also featured here, has become King's late-career theme song, but as he heads toward his 80th birthday on September 16, 2005--still playing 150 concerts a year with his vastly influential guitar skills sharp and his voice just a bit weathered--King's version of survival contains genuine majesty. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars ****1/2 - the finest introduction yet
    Finally - a really good single-disc compilation which doesn't exclude King's earliest (and best) material.
    Much better than "Greatest Hits" and more affordable than various multi-disc compilations, "The Ultimate Collection" is the place to start for newcomers and curious listeners who want to know what Riley "B.B." King is all about.
    "Three O'Clock Blues", "You Upset Me Baby", "Sweet Little Angel"...this is not everything you could ever want from B.B. KIng, but it is a very fine place to start.

    5-0 out of 5 stars B.B.King&Lucille are well served here
    B.B.King is a Artist that is timeless to Me on so many levels. His music has always been a fixture in my life.relatives have played His work all through my life.those Great recordings He did with Bobby "Blue" Bland&His Solo Career."the thrill is Gone" is still One of the Freshest Jams Ever.B.B.'s Guitar Lucille has Served the Brother Proper over the years. you feel His spirit&Emotion in his Tone&Vocals as a Musican.this is a Must have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Single Disc Collection Hits Most of the Highlights
    B.B. King is certainly the greatest living ambassador of the blues that we have and this latest anthology--released ahead of his eightieth birthday next September--is a well chosen collection of some of his best and best known songs.However, condensing a 50-plus-year recording career onto a single disc and calling it THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION borders on chutzpah.

    However, give the compilers at Geffen Records their due. Through cross licensing they have been able to include some of his early RPM and Kent singles as well as his MCA material. [MCA has been B. B. King's home since the late sixties.] The set begins with his first No. 1 R&B single "Three O'Clock Blues" in 1951 and continues through with the most recent song "Ten Long Years" from 2000's collaboration with Eric Clapton, RIDING WITH THE KING.

    Even at twenty-one tracks, there is much that had to be eliminated from this collection.Only the last four tracks represent King's post-seventies output. And over the past half dozen years alone, King has released some powerful albums, including 1999's tribute to the music of Louis Jordan LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL and 2003's collection of standards REFLECTIONS, neither of which is represented here.

    What you do get though is classic B.B. King, including his 1964 crossover hit "Rock Me Baby," a couple tracks from1965's LIVE AT THE REGAL "Every Day I Have the Blues and "Sweet Little Angel," his signature song "The Thrill Is Gone" (which at No. 15 was his highest charting pop hit in 1970), and the 7" edit and mix of "When Love Comes to Town" with U2.

    Overall, this is a satisfying collection and makes for a nice introduction to the music of B.B. King.If you want a broader overview, consider 2000's 2-disc anthology or 1992's box set KING OF THE BLUES

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Thrill isn't gone after all...The King is back
    B.B. plays what he feels in every single song. That's a rarity among all the young blues neophytes out there but the fact that he did from his very first recording says a lot about the man. From the very first chords of "Three O'Clock Blues" to the rock swagger of "When Come Comes To Town" (recorded and written by U2), B.B. energized every note, every word with meaning.

    This isn't the best collection of B.B.'s music. For that you'd have to go to the boxed set "King of the Blues" which is now over a decade old. It's missing everything he's recorded since 1992 so isn't quite as complete as it could be either. As a single disc collection, though, you can't go wrong with this outstanding set. Yes, "The Thrill is Gone" also makes another appearence but because it'ssuch an important track (it broke B.B. to a wider audience and became his first crossover hit)it certainly deserves to be included. The extensive liner notes gives us a glimpse of B.B.'s life from the day he entered the world as Riley King the son of a sharecropper (something he himself did briefly as well). It's clear from even these early sides (the first four tracks)he didn't have blood flowing through his veins but the Mississippi Delta's rich water.

    Focusing primarily on his singles (although there's a generous helping of album tracks as well), this collection could easily have been doubled or tripled in length (much as Bruce Springsteen's "Ultimate Collection" was). From the plainative fragment "Nobody Loves Me But My Mother" (with the sad but witty comment, ..and she could be jiving me") through to B.B.'s collaborations with U2 (the single is featured here with backing vocals that I don't seem to recall on the album version)and England's Mississippi Delta King Eric Clapton, this fine collection captures the King in fine form.

    After this you'd do well to pick up the following classic albums; "Live at the Regal", "Lucille" (named after his beloved guitar), "Live in Cook County Jail" (one of his most powerful performances), "Indianola Mississippi Seeds". Dip your toes in the Mississippi Delta and you'll never regret it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The King
    Hey, it's the king. This CD is all encompassing and superbly recorded. If you are new to B.B. King or just want to add to your collection, you will not be dissapointed. ... Read more


    19. Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000032B4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 517
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Ray Charles is the Genius of Soul, but he's always had a bit of country boy in him, too. Between playing hillbilly piano when he was a kid and landing several duets on the country charts in the '80s, Charles released this 1962 classic, taking 12 country standards and proving that great songs can remain great, no matter what the setting.Behind blaring brass and thrilling strings, Brother Ray transforms "Hey, Good Lookin'" and "Bye Bye Love" into big-band swing; "You Win Again" into the Nashville Sound; and "I Love You So Much It Hurts" into the most elegant of pop."I Can't Stop Loving You" was the big hit, but everything else here is just as timeless and beautiful. --David Cantwell ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars what can you say
    that hasnt already been said about Ray Charles' Modern Sounds. Lilting and beautiful melody, poignant and masterful vocal phrasing throughout the album. Can melt the hardest of hearts, and thematically represents some of the more dark aspects of love and heartache as only country and western music can. do you really need the formality of five stars?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Modern Sounds in Country & Western
    As ever Ray-the Man is ever flexible. He knows his roots only too well. I first heard Ray sing Country and Western years ago on the Album, "The Volcanic Action of My Soul"....Wichita Line Man..was mind blowing....I recently found the reviewed album contained a lot of the tracks I longed to hear again. Multifaceted band, ever brilliant genius...if ever there was a man whose ISness= music then Ray Charles really defies categorization.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Know the Vinyl Album Not the CD
    I grew up listening to this album that belonged to my late father. When he was "bar-b-queing" on the patio in the backyard, he'd have his speakers outside from the "Hi-Fi" in the den, and one of the albums he'd play was "Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music." As kids, our favorite was my Dad's favorites, "Born To Lose" and "I Can't Stop Loving You." The day they announced "Sir" Ray had died, I pulled out that album and played it three times. It still sounds good today. You can't go wrong with the CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new sad day.
    Although I knew that the day would come soon that Brother Ray would pass on, but it still feels like the day came too soon. Ray Charles is one of my most cherished icons on American music. He's done so much! He's taken risks on new ideas even when his advisors were totally against it. This album of "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" proves that. He was told that a black man shouldn't do country music, but Ray said that it was in his heart to do it. And it worked! It ended up being his best selling album ever! It was the Number One album of 1962 for 14 weeks and remained on the pop chart for 101 weeks (according to Billboard, Record Research by Joel Whitburn).

    Many of his most cherished hits are here: "I Can't Stop Loving You", "You Don't Know Me", "Born to Lose", and more, plus this CD features three bonus tracks, which were also charted classics: "You Are My Sunshine", "Here We Go Again", and "That Lucky Old Sun". And although "Georgia On my Mind" would have been an excellent additional bonus track, fitting for this collection, you will find that in his box set once you're ready to commit to that purchase. Although, his five disc box set "Genius and Soul" is a great collection, for those of you who are, only now, interested in hearing what Ray Charles has done for pop music, pick up this CD of "Modern Sounds...". Sure, you may want to get one of his many greatest hits CD's that are available. But, you may want to get his box set afterwards while still wanting to keep this one landmark album.

    Yes, I am saddened that Ray Charles has passed on. I feel somber just as we all did when Elvis Presley passed away. I hope we're going to see a great documentary on the life of Ray Charles some day. Since I've already mentioned him, it would be nice if they would get around to releasing the Elvis Presley documentary called "This is Elvis" on DVD someday.

    Ray, we're all going to miss you. Too bad Ronald Reagan's passing and week-long rememberance and final funeral stole the attention Ray deserves to celebrate his life. I guess they'll get around to it someday afterwards.

    5-0 out of 5 stars you da man, ray charles!
    i've known and loved this album since it came out. if music doesn't express the human spirit it's just so much deedly-deedly and ol'ray knows what this music says beyond the words - and expresses it with his natural gifts for phrasing, soulfulness, etc. production is kinda gushy 60's but with vocals like this you hardly notice. should be mandatory listening for the nashville hat acts...show 'em how good country can be! ... Read more


    20. N'Awlinz: Dis Dat Or D'Udda
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B0001XQ6FE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 198
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Mac Rebennack took his stage name from the voodoo healer Dr. John and became a '70s pop star by recasting New Orleans's myth and music in his own psychedelic image. At 63, he's again revamped the Crescent City sound, minus the acid-trip trappings, for his best album in decades. With its string, horn, and Afro-Latin percussion sections and its slate of re-imagined classics, N'Awlinz is a masterful summation of Dr. John's abilities as a leader and performer. Guests such as Willie Nelson, B.B. King, and Mavis Staples, plus a roster of Louisiana luminaries including Randy Newman, Nicholas Payton, Snooks Eaglin, Gatemouth Brown, Dave Bartholomew, and Earl Palmer, all make winning contributions. In Dr. John's grasp, "When the Saints Come Marching In" becomes a stately waltz that twines his elegant piano and gravel throat with Staples's rich, red-clay gospel singing. And he honors the spirit of standards like "Stackalee" and "St. James Infirmary" while spinning his own lyrics and melodies into them. "Time Marches On" (with King, Nelson, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band), "Life is a One Way Ticket," and several spirituals contemplate mortality, but never interrupt the graceful, upbeat flow of this late-career opus. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars N'aw-ice 'n' Pure
    Straight shot o' Weesi-anna's best musical soundscape here, and ol' Dr. John is just the professor to bring it all home. If you prefer your Bayou sounds sanitized and watered down for Top 40, stay away from this. It's too pure and likely gonna be a tough dose of the real thing.

    On d'udda hand, this is a treasure chest. Each song is worthy of repeated listens, and each time something new and valuable is discovered. Picking the best of these 18 songs ain't possible, as each contributes to the overall perspective.

    Spirituals, blues, standards, voodoo, soul. It's all here.

    It's become way-too-commonplace today to puff up a CD with guest artists. But this has very serious cats sittin' in, and they don't simply show up for a payday. They came to play and pay homage to the distinct music found only in N'Awlinz.

    I'm a sucker for anything Randy Newman does, but he has never sounded more inspired. Willie Nelson is today's Perry Como, but he, too, finds a new depth of performance. What can be said of B.B. King except you'd better be ready to play when he shows up; and they do!

    Arrangements of lyrics and themes and scores are so evenly proportioned that songs you know like the palm of your foot sound fresh again. The way Mavis Staples and Dr. John retool "When The Saints Go Marching In" makes you wonder where you ever heard these lyrics before.

    With The Dirty Dozen Brass Band backing, Michael Bolton could make passable music, so you can imagine what happens when blended with the real deal.

    Forgive my musical ignorance. I'm not familiar with a lot of the other notable local musicians on this CD. But any of 'em could cut the famous studio boys in The City or L.A. or Nashville without breaking a sweat.

    I'm here to testify. It's gonna be a long time until I've fully digested this cajun meal, and I love each bite. ... Read more


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