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1. On And On
$11.99 $9.36 list($13.98)
2. Trouble
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3. Brushfire Fairytales
$13.49 $11.84 list($16.98)
4. Grant Street
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5. Thicker Than Water
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6. The Duke Meets the Earl
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7. Fever for the Bayou
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8. Live! Down the Road
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9. Blues to the Bone
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10. Me & Mr Johnson
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11. The Ultimate Collection
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12. Blues Deluxe
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13. Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton
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14. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Greatest
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15. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues
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16. New York City
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17. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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18. Nine Lives
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19. His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary
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20. Riding with the King

1. On And On
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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
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Asin: B0002S947K
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 104
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3. Brushfire Fairytales
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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. Grant Street
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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


5. Thicker Than Water
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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


6. The Duke Meets the Earl
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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


7. Fever for the Bayou
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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


8. Live! Down the Road
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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


9. Blues to the Bone
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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


10. Me & Mr Johnson
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 72
Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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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


11. The Ultimate Collection
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1169
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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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


12. Blues Deluxe
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Asin: B0000AKCLS
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Sales Rank: 4065
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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New York guitar phenom walks tall in the blues tradition with this third album, jettisoning fiery riffs inspired by John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elmore James, and Albert Collins into the future with furious playing, a hard-rock sensibility, and a grizzled voice that owes a debt to Gregg Allman. Equally inspired by the Delta blues and the mid-'60s British blues boom, the young firebrand--who titled this CD after a Rod Stewart song penned while in the Jeff Beck Group--is able to fuse those two schools together, creating edgy blues rock. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars As Blues As You Can Get...
"Blues Deluxe," the new CD from Joe Bonamassa, is promoted as his first 'official' blues CD. His former discs "So, It's Like That" and "A New Day Yesterday" are more classic rock (with a blues influence).

I came across this disc at a listening station in Barnes And Noble - and was immediately taken in by a rousing rendition of BB King's "You Upset Me Baby" followed by a foot-stompin' rendition of John Lee Hooker's "Burning Hell." You could immediately tell that Joe Bonamassa was not here to pay tribute to the blues, he was here to bring it to a new level.

This is not entirely a covers disc, "Woke Up Dreaming" is a blistering acoustic track (yes blistering -- the guitar is almost set on fire in the intro), and "I Don't Live Anywhere" is a dreamy-heartfelt ballad that shows Bonamassa can write with the best of them.

It is here where I can say this CD is a great listening experience. The song where Bonamassa brings "Blues Deluxe" to level above great, is in fact, the title track (a cover of the great Jeff Beck). The solo in this song is comparable to some of the best of the best (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton). The raw emotion that filters through the guitar solo is enough to channel into anyone's soul, and make them nod in appreciation for what has been 'said'. I, in fact, am one of those souls.

2-0 out of 5 stars No way joe
From Exqweezme: Have to dissent from some of the views here. Joe's guitar is certainly very good, however I feel he fails to make these songs his own. His guitar playing is a re-run of texas style blue-rock that we've heard before, and not as good as the truly exceptional artists that ply the trade like SRV, ZZ Top, or even the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Furthermore, his lyrical arrangement and style seem rather trite. His vocalization reflects to much artificiality which lacks a serious understanding of what the blues is and how it should be played.

I'm willing to except these downfalls from a 15 year old Jonny Lang, but not someone like Joe who has been a proffesional musician for this long. Hopefully his future offerings will show a bit more substance than his current one. Until then I will continue to re-listen to older classics like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, and John Lee Hooker and anxiously await the modern masters of blues, Eric Clapton and Keb Mo (and maybe in the future Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and Susan Tedeschi).

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues Deluxe is a Blues Lesson
A wonderful collection of cover songs with an original thrown in. Everything from hard driving bar room blues to ballad and delta blues sounds. It took me a few songs to realize he's not one of those that throws the whole bag of tricks at you in the first minute and is out of gas by the fourth song. Very tastefull playing that can go from in your face to mellow and sound great. Fans of Walter Trout, SRV, Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan and guitar blues/blues rock will find something to catch their ear on this CD. One of the newer guns like Johnny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepard but with a heavier sound. Never heard his other releases. This one will find alot of time in my playlist. Mainly a cover sing CD that benifits from classic songs performed by a great musician. I hope Blues Deluxe 2 happens sometime soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal Masterpiece!
After recording two successful solo albums, mixing influences of classic rock and blues, Joe Bonamassa has released his first full-blooded blues album, Blues Deluxe on August 26, 2003 which marks his contribution to "The Year of the Blues". This CD is totally made up of Joe paying homage to The Blues Legends, never mind what CD is the best of 2003, this one reaches into your all time list and knowing that it was recorded in just 8 days is way to scary to even think about what this guy is capable of!

To be honest there are some great new blues/rock CD's that have come out this year, and I know of at least 3 or 4 others that I highly recommend as a must buy for 2003, but if you don't buy Joe Bonamassa's new CD, I promise you will live to regret it! After the first spin of this disc I was totally speechless, a total loss of words! I don't even know where to start describing the overwhelming sense of AWE that came over me, I mean the hair on the back of my neck literally stood on end about half way through the title cut Blues Deluxe! I knew this cat was good but is it really possible that he has gotten that much better? Damn right he has! From this day forth anytime the name Joe Bonamassa is spoken it should be followed immediately by these two words "GUITAR GOD" because they only people I have ever heard play like this is Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I have heard people flirt with music like this and become "GUITAR GREATS" but to just flat out kick it in the ass like this not only puts this cat in the category of the elite, but cements his place in guitar history! It's so very exciting to witness greatness like this in the making! Joe Bonamassa has perfect control over his instrument, it's like he will's it to speak to you without any effort at all.

High points on this disc are the front and back cover, and everything in between! There isn't a week spot on the whole disc. Some of my favorites are the B.B. King cover "You Upset Me Baby", the title track which was wrote by Rod Stewart "Blues Deluxe", "Woke Up Dreaming" which features Joe's amazing speed on acoustic guitar, the T-Bone Walker-inspired "Long Distance Blues" and the Freddie King cover of "Pack It Up"! Also "Wild About You Baby" is some great smokin' slide stuff. Bonamassa is a great musician and showman if you miss the chance to see Joe live then you will be left in the dark at what this guy is all about, his guitar work is beyond words you must experience him in person, I truly believe that Joe Bonamassa is the future of the Blues!!!

Bonamassa has secured his place in Blues History. Phenomenal Masterpiece!
Review by The Bandit

5-0 out of 5 stars just awesome!
i cant stop listening to this cd. get it if you love blues and awesome guitar playing. Remember www.bonamassabluesrock.com!! ... Read more


13. Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton [Remasterd/Bonus Tracks]
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Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Guitar Heaven by Eric Clapton!
Few albums have had greater impact than the landmark John Mayall With Eric Clapton "Blues Breakers." Released by the Decca label in Britain on 22 July 1966, literally days after Clapton quit the Bluesbreakers and just a week before Cream's debut, it went all the way to #6, a pretty mean feat since Mayall's band had never had a hit single. This may have been a first in Britain.

Of course, this is the album that set the blues and guitar worlds aflame and established Eric Clapton's name worldwide as the most passionate of musical interpreters. If you haven't yet heard "Beano" (as the album is affectionately known, because Clapton is pictured reading "The Beano" comic book on its cover), then you ain't heard nuthin' yet!

From the album's first notes, you realize that you're in guitar heaven, as "Slowhand" shows us the way electric guitar can and should be played. Clapton's virtuoso playing is white-hot throughout. Playing with maturity beyond his 21 years, the young Eric Clapton was so influential that Gibson eventually reissued the (out-of-production since 1960) Les Paul model guitar, which Clapton then played.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers served--and still serves today--as a finishing school for great musicians and sidemen (Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, Coco Montoya and others). Mayall's proselytizing the blues (he's 69 years old!), his songwriting skills, and his other musical talents should not be ignored nor taken lightly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic that Gets Better with Age--and Remastering!
When I was 15 years old (which was also 15 years ago), I was quickly becoming a major Eric Clapton fan, and was essentially working my way backward through his impressive catalog. At the time, everyone kept telling me that if I wanted to hear Clapton at his best, I needed to listen to his recording with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Because I was also obsessed with the likes of Buddy Guy, Albert/Freddie/BB King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters, among many other players, I relished the opportunity to spend what was a reasonable price for a CD at the time and buy the Mayall/Clapton CD.

When I listened to it for the first time, I actually didn't care for it much. Although Clapton's playing was formidable, especially for someone of his age at the time, the album seemed a little lacking, like the recordings of a lot of British bands at the time who tried playing the blues. Maybe I was too used to hearing the actual American blues masters from whom the British musicians largely borrowed their material, I'm not sure, but I remember feeling that these were just another group enthusiastic musicians who, with the exception of Clapton, were mediocre bluesmen at best. I sold the disc and went back to listening to what I thought was the "real stuff" (i.e. American blues).

Recently I purchased this CD again, because it had been a long time since I had heard it, and I was curious about the newly remastered edition with two extra tracks. I took it home, turned it on, and was completely floored! Through the amazingly crisp mix of this remastered CD, I was able to hear every nuance of the instruments, especially the thick, creamy, crispy tone of Clapton's Les Paul guitar and Marshall amplifier. I have listened to this disc repeatedly since then, and I have to say that this album is very deserving of its reputation as being of one of the best blues albums of all time.

What caused the difference in my opinion, being a decade removed from first hearing it? It is in part due to the vastly improved sound of the CD, of course, but there are other factors as well. John Mayall was a tremendous influence on the British blues scene and, being a little older now, I can appreciate how much he immersed himself in the tradition to sing competently and play his instruments with precision. As far as Clapton is concerned, after hearing his performance on this album, I actually realize how stagnant his music has become, particularly on albums like "Pilgrim" or "Reptile." There was a time long ago when Clapton was not an "adult contemporary" performer, but a blues and rock machine. His playing from his days in the Bluesbreakers through Derek and the Dominos solidified his reputation as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and deservedly so. I would love to hear him play again with the creative inventiveness and fire that defines this John Mayall recording. Anyone who wants to resist mellowing along with Clapton or needs a little musical inspiration should buy this CD. It is the real deal, and it will always be a classic--something that, unfortunately, will not be said about Clapton's recent work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clapton is God
This is the album on which Eric Patrick Clapton, Slowhand, emerged as one of the most innovative and original guitarists in the world. Clapton created a new sound when he combined a sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard through a Marshall amplifier. And while blues guitarists like B.B. King, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Buddy Guy, Freddy King, Otis Ruch, Albert King had pioneered the electric blues guitar idiom, Eric Clapton brought it into the popular mainstream and transformed it. The blues guitar now became an integral part of popular music and rock and roll. This is where Claton showed how it could be done. He perfected on the Beano album of 1966.

Clapton had begun the transformation of the electric guitar while he was with the Yardbirds. He had electrifying solos on the Yardbird's GOODMORNING LITTLE SCHOOLGIRL and on GOT TO HURRY. Clapton wanted to develop and evolve his guitar style with the Yardbirds. But when they decided to go commercial and release pop material, Clapton quit the band. But Beano merely continues where Clapton left off with the Yardbirds. Unlike with the Yardbirds, however, John Mayall lets Clapton take center stage and allows him to realize his vision of the electric guitar. What results is a landmark recording. This album had a major impact in transforming the electric guitar from a secondary instrument to center stage. Eddie Van Halen cited Beano as the album that most influenced him. Jimi Hendrix purchased a copy and wanted to duplicate Clapton's sound. Hendrix even bought a Marshall amp like Clapton so he could get that thick distorted sound that Clapton got on Beano.

Beano showed what you could do when you combined the blues and the electric guitar. The blues did not have to be a peripheral music form but could now take center stage. Claton showed everyone how. He had the vision and the commitment to make it happen. As Clapton himself said, he wanted to change the world and to shake up the music scene. And he did that with Beano.

The album opens with the powerful ALL YOUR LOVE, which Stevie Ray Vaughan covered. Clapton has blistering guitar solos. On DOUBLE CROSSING TIME, a song Clapton co-wrote with Mayall, Clapton's solos are searing. A nice touch to WHAT'D I SAY? is Clapton playing the Beatles' DAY TRIPPER riff in the second half of the song. Clapton scorches on Freddy King's HIDEAWAY. Clapton is on fire throughout the album.

There are two bonus tracks that comprise the single that was released at the time.

This is a must-own album for any guitarist. This is a landmark album that transformed the electric guitar and ushered in the guitar god or guitar hero. But Clapton was the first one. Clapton is indeed SUPERMAN INSIDE and God! Hear for yourself why they called Clapton god and why Jimi Hendrix wanted to first meet Clapton when he arrived in England in 1966.

5-0 out of 5 stars The debate rages on
Why on earth anyone would give this LP a low rating because it's done by British white boys is beyond me. That smacks of puritanism at its finest. It's like saying Chet Baker was a lousy jazz guy because he was white. These guys were playing what they loved and emulating their heroes. Clapton plays with a passion and fire that transcends racial or gender issues. He was a young musician trying to make his mark and that's where we as listeners really benefit. His focus is on his music and the critics be damned. I'm originally from Chicago's southside and know the old southside (go sox) blues clubs intimately. You could walk in there and mention this albumn and the musicians (mostly black) and the patrons (mostly black) would sing its praises. The nay sayers need to get a grip. I've lived the Chicago blues scene and this albumn is a must. During a conversation I had with the late great Lefty Dizz he told me this was his favorite blues albumn. Go figure..a black blues musician disagreeing with the white purists. Does that make Hendrix a lousy rock player. Do youself a favor and but this albumn!

4-0 out of 5 stars Clapton's got the blues...
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton (1966.)

In 1965, Eric Clapton bid farewell to the Yardbirds. The band's sound, in Clapton's eyes, was becoming too poppy and commercial - certainly not the kind of music that he had a desire to play. Following his departure of that group, he joined forces with an up and coming blues rocker named John Mayall. Mayall was an excellent performer of blues rock, but he really hadn't had any popularity or success yet. With Eric Clapton in his band, which he now dubbed the Bluesbreakers, would he create an excellent album that was well-received? Read on for my review.

To put it simply, if you're going to listen to this album expecting it to sound like the Eric Clapton that you know and love, you may as well not listen to it at all. This is blues rock, plain and simple - NOT the mainstream rock that Clapton fans tend to know and love him for. But, if you're a Clapton fan and you've got an open mind, or if you're just looking for some of the best blues rock out there, this release is for you. After disbanding from the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton must have felt that he needed to find his roots to be able to continue rocking. And on this album, he finds them. For many classic rock artists, the blues were very important, and that couldn't be more true of Eric Clapton. On this album, he and John Mayall serve up an onslaught of classic blues covers, as well as their own unique compositions. Through and through, Mayall and Clapton managed to create one of the finest blues-rock hybrid albums out there.

THIS TEXT REFERS EXCLUSIVELY TO THE "BLUES CLASSICS" REISSUE. This album was recently remastered and rereleased as a part of the Blues Classics series of album reissues. In addition to the remastering process, this release of the album also includes expanded liner notes, as well as two bonus tracks. The bonus tracks were originally single-only cuts, so it's good to finally have them on an album and on CD. There are several different reissues of this album available, and this is one of the best ones.

When John Mayall and Eric Clapton joined forces, they proved that they were one hell of a blues-rock combo. It's just a shame that their partnership was so short lived - Eric Clapton wanted to start his own band, which he did later that year (I'm referring to Cream, for those of you who don't know.) But, the legacy of their short-lived partnership lived on in the form of this album. No fan of blues-based rock should be without this release. ... Read more


14. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000002AOU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 717
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (63)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Stevie Ray & D.T.'s best (1983 - 1989) & 1 rarity"
This 11 track compilation of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's best work from "Texas Flood (1983)" to In Step (1989)" is highly essential. All of his four studio releases for Epic records are represented here, as well as a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" & the rare track "Taxman", originally by The Beatles. It's nice to have the tracks "Texas Flood", "Couldn't Stand the Weather", "Life Without You", and "Change It" collected on one convenient CD. Six great years of blues-based rock is represented here, and the inclusion of the radio staples "Crossfire" & "Pride & Joy" will surley make even the minor fans happy. NOTE: The import of this album, features three additional tracks: "Love Struck Baby", "Voodoo Chile (slight return) (hendrix)", & The Sky is Crying."

4-0 out of 5 stars The Sky is Cryin!
I love blues, it's one of my favorite kinds of music. As an avid lover of the rain and all things rainy, I can't help but think about the rain coming down when I hear those depressing notes. Blues and rain go together like peanut butter and meat loaf (hey, don't knock it till you try it!). Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time. Besides the fact that he was a very talented guitarist, he wrote not one, not two, but THREE songs about the rain! Wow! "Texas Flood", "Couldn't Stand the Weather", and "The Sky is Cryin". I don't really like "Couldn't Stand the Weather" that much, because it kinda sounds like he's saying that rain is bad. Awesome video, though. I give this four stars because "The Sky is Cryin" is NOT ON HERE!... That is one of the greatest blues songs of all time, MUCH better than "Couldn't Stand the Weather"! If you like this album, you should check out my fave band, Candlebox. Their guitarist, Peter Klett, is even better than SRV, and they also write bluesy, rainy music. Long live Stevie Ray. The sky cries for thee.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great music, mediocre compilation
A really great compilation makes the artist in question seem better than he actually is.
Really, it does. It compiles all of the artist's best material, leaving out the fat and the gristle, thus making the albums it summarizes - and by extension, the artist - seem better than they are.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Greatest Hits" does the opposite.
It has some magnificent songs, sure, but it is much too brief, and too many of these eleven selections, particularly "Crossfire", "Couldn't Stand The Weather", the instrumental "Little Wing", and Vaughan's cover of "Taxman", aren't really among Vaughan's most memorable. They are not bad, far from it, but the track list just doesn't demonstrate how great Stevie Ray actually was. And besides, the compilers could have fitted another half dozen songs onto the disc had they wanted to.

Now, the new "Greatest Hits 2" goes a very long way towards rectifying these problems, but this album by itself just doesn't do it. Sure, "Pride And Joy", "Texas Flood" and "Cold Shot" are here, but way too many great songs are not: "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love", "Scuttle Buttin'", "Love Struck Baby", "I'm Cryin'", "Dirty Pool" and "Willie The Wimp" to name but a few.

If you are looking for a really good Stevie Ray Vaughan compilation, go for the double-disc "The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble".
That one costs less than "Greatest Hits" and "Greatest Hits vol. II" put together (and features 33 songs, as opposed to 27), and if you really want to limit your SRV-collection to just one or two discs, "The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble" should be the one.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Lamest Guitarist Ever!
This compilation could've been trimmed (mercifully)down to about 30 seconds if there was a rule against repeating the same tired licks. SRV may have been a nice guy, but he was one sorry excuse for a guitar player-more proof that all you have to do to satisfy the vast legion of dullards is turn it up. "Passion" doesn't replace his lack of technique, taste, originality, etc,ad nauseum.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Greatest Hits Complination
Their have been many Steive Ray Vaughan greatest hits albums. Including The Greatest Hits Volume 2, and The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan but this Stevie Ray Vaughan Greatest Hits album is the best complination. I bought this at a used CD store and I just loved it I did own almost all of his CD's but except for this one. The real reason I bought this greatest hits was because of the first track TaxMan, I always loved the Beatles version, and I loved Stevie Ray Vaughan's music at the same time so I had to here the song beside the fact I loved all the other songs and thought it included Stevie Ray's best greatest hits on one CD.

I loved the entire album for it was truely great. All of the songs included on this CD were his best work. Their are many songs missing but can be heard on The Greatest Hits Volume 2, and on The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan. This whole album covers his best works from Pride And Joy, to Change It, also some other of my favorites include The House Is A Rocking, Little Wing, Crossfire, and Tightrope. The extra song TaxMan is perhaps the best new unreleased song on the entire album. I highly encourage anybody to pick up a copy of this masterpiece. Highly Recomened! ... Read more


15. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues
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Asin: B0007VBF24
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2376
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

This guest-studded CD relaunched Buddy Guy's career and set him toward the pinnacle of contemporary blues. Despite turns from Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and others, it's Guy who burns brightest--and loudest. He delivers roaring, exuberant performances of classic R&B ("Mustang Sally"), old-time blues ("Black Night"), and house rockers ("Where Is the Next One Coming From"). Most poignant, though, is his seven-minute instrumental "Rememberin' Stevie," which not only rekindles the fiery spirit of his own youth, but pays sensitive tribute to his late friend and admirer Stevie Ray Vaughan. This is the blueprint for Guy's current performing style. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Where's Jeff Beck???
This is the expanded edition of what is already a classic blues album. All in all the expanded edition is OK. It was remastered by George Marino, who has remastered a lot of catalogs, most importantly the Led Zeppelin catalog. This edition sounds a little better than the old CD, but not that much. The two extra tracks are really outstanding. One is an instrumental jam where Buddy really lets loose and the other is a nice cover of Guitar Slim. No horns or big production, just Buddy and the band on these two. The big letdown: in 'Mustang Sally' Jeff Beck's contribution has been edited out completely!!! All the fills and his solo. Why, what happened???

5-0 out of 5 stars How About Ten Stars
Next to B. B. King, Buddy Guy is the greatest living bluesman, and this is his finest album. When he is on his game, as he is here, Guy is an absolutely astounding electric guitarist. Some of his solos suggest what Jimi Hendrix would have sounded like if he had lived past his twenties. But that is really beside the point. Guy doesn't need Hendrix comparisons to validate his work. Guy, who remains the epitome of Chicago blues, playsguitar with all of the vitality, sorrow, humour, passion, anger, pain, and transcendance that he can muster, and the end result is just marvelous, thrilling music. And there is not a throwaway song on the entire CD. If there is a better blues CD out there, I don't know what it could possibly be. This is a CD that will never age. ... Read more


16. New York City
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Asin: B00009QI3R
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 470
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (60)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Collaboration
This cd makes a great soundtrack to any road-trip, to be sure. Norah's enchanting vocals compliment PMG's groovy tunes, creating a feel-good, head-nodding album. More up-tempo than Norah's debut, but trust me, this is a great thing. Faint echos of Bonnie Rait or *early* Sheryl Crow...

1) New York City - Title track. Begging to be stolen by some cheezy sitcom and ruined forever, that good. :)

2) Strange Transmissions - Slow, sensual build up, with a catchy musical hook that just makes you want to smile. This is a perfect mix between Mrs. Jones and Mr. Malick...hopefully shades of this will appear on Norah's next cd...

3) Deceptively Yours - Light rockin' song with a lot of soul. Think coctail lounge rock and you'll be closer. Blues-y and beautiful.

4) All Your Love - I heard a friend play this on his stereo and swore it was a young Bonnie Raitt. Traditional blues, with a *slight* modern distortion added in to the guitars. Seductive and sassy.

5) Heart of Mine - A Bob Dylan cover to slow things down a bit. Once more, Norah nails a classic song, while PMG's instrumentation drives her on, note for note.

6) Things You Don't Have to Do - The loudest song on the cd. This one will make you want to get up and dance, for sure. Don't be suprised if you find yourself smiling by the end of the song; It just has a feel-good vibe.

7) New York City (Radio Edit)

Overall - One of the best new cd's of the year...I find myself listening to it more and more every day...maybe now that it's hit the radio, it will encourage more people to experience this shining gem. One negative comment - at a running time of 30:04, it's too short! Though better to end it on a high note than to ruin the cd with a bunch of rushed renditions. Short 'n sweet. A must buy for any jazz/Norah/light rock fan. Expect to be hearing more of this on the airwaves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the whole album
I can't give it a bad review as these are good songs well performed but this is only a subset of Peter Malick's 'Chance and Circumstance', an album that is so infectious it is almost never off my car stereo.

If you're only interested in the Norah Jones songs then fine, this is the one for you but for me 'Chance and Circumstance' is such a beautifully crafted work that anything less would feel like walking out halfway through the show.

Other people can review the musical style, I just wanted to let folks know.

1-0 out of 5 stars bE
Bad album. Don't listen what other people is saing to you! Shakira is better! Don't buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good mix
I really enjoy the mix of Norah Jones voice with Peter Malick's guitar work. Good music to have in the background to hum along to.

1-0 out of 5 stars NYC is a Disappointment
I borrowed this CD from my library in the hopes that since Norah Jones was featured on it, I would enjoy this album immensely.

I never imagined I'd listen to an entire recording with Norah Jones' voice and dislike it. Fans of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me probably wouldn't like this CD. I suppose a die-hard blues fan would like it, but I don't like the blues, therefore, this CD was a HUGE letdown for me. I liked New York City, but the entire album was enough of a disappointment for me to return to my library and forget about buying for myself. I would recommend Norah Jones' sophomore album before I would EVER recommend New York City.

P.S. This album really does not accurately capture the emotions of New York City. Really, it doesn't. ... Read more


17. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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Asin: B00064VKYK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 780
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In this 2003 performance from the Austin City Limits series (also available on DVD), New England's Susan Tedeschi demonstrates a range that extends well beyond her blues base. Following the blueprint employed by Bonnie Raitt a few decades earlier, she covers John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery" (a signature tune for Raitt), inserting a snippet from the Grateful Dead's "Sugaree." The piano balladry of her "Wrapped in the Arms of Another" could fit just fine on a Raitt album. The set also finds her sampling from the songbooks of Sly Stone ("You Can Make It If You Try"), Bob Dylan ("Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"), and Stevie Wonder ("Love's in Need of Love Today"), in addition to the more straightforward blues of Koko Taylor ("Voodoo Woman"). Though Tedeschi's stinging lead guitar provides the focus, she receives strong support from a band featuring the interplay of electric pianist Jason Crosby (who doubles on violin) and William Green on Hammond B-3 organ. Highlights include a tribute to jam-band inspiration Col. Bruce Hampton on "Hampmotized" and the simmering "Wait for Me," with its echoes of Aretha Franklin.Tedeschi has yet to show the suppleness as a vocalist to complement her guitar chops, but the musical range she displays here bodes well for her artistic development. --Don McLeese ... Read more


18. Nine Lives
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Asin: B00080Z5S4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1869
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Album Description

Sacramento-based blues, swing and jump masters Little Charlie & The Nightcats have much in common with their feline counterparts. They take great (musical) leaps and always land on their feet, they’re constantly on the prowl (gigging all over the world), and, with all of the various styles of music they play, they seem to have many lives.Their new CD, NINE LIVES, is the ninth album of their remarkable career.

It’s been over 30 years since world-class musicians guitarist Little Charlie Baty and harmonicist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin first teamed up and took hard Chicago blues, jump, Texas swing and jazz and mixed it with rockabilly, proto-rock’n’roll, jumping jive, bebop and Estrin’s sharply original lyrics, creating a sound one critic described as "Charlie Christian playing in Little Walter’s band." Their utter mastery of American roots music is fueled by Baty’s jaw-dropping guitar acrobatics and driven by Estrin’s captivating original songs, cutting vocals and brilliant harmonica playing. The new CD, NINE LIVES, features 13 original songs—including three smoking instrumentals—and showcases the band’s constantly growing repertoire and chops. ... Read more


19. His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)
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Asin: B000005KQM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1718
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Chester Burnett's ferocious growl was a staple of Chicago's electric-blues heyday. This 20-song compilation ranges from his 1951 debut "Moanin' at Midnight" with Willie Johnson on guitar to 1964's "Killing Floor" with Buddy Guy on guitar. His scratchy, sawed-off vocal approach and his energetic harmonica grace original classics such as "How Many More Years" and "Smokestack Lightnin'." By 1960, he became, along with Muddy Waters, the foremost interpreter of Willie Dixon's songs, lending his coarse voice to legendary Dixon cuts such as "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," "Spoonful," "The Red Rooster," and "I Ain't Superstitious." Wolf's style was based on primal raw power, and he ranks among the genre's most distinctive performers. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars essential
Howlin' Wolf was already in his forties when he arrived in Chicago in the winter of 1953 and started recording for the Chess label. He quickly became Muddy Waters main and only rival on the city's club scene. With his six foot three, weighing well over 300 pounds, he had the stage presence of a mountain. Or perhaps a volcano is a better word, as he would regularly erupt, fall to his knees and howl at the moon. All his Chess recordings are essential listening for any serious blues lover, but if I had to pick one song to represent the Wolf in an anthology of the best American music from the 20th century, my choice would probably be Smokestack Lightnin'.

It's a simple song, just a few chords in a row actually, but it might be one of the greatest recordings ever recorded by a recording artist. I kid you not. Just as the Carmina Buruna belongs in the background of a classic, Freudian nightmare. Smokestack Lightnin' is the perfect soundtrack to a wild and sweaty one. It has a swampy feel bundled with images of trains and "little bittie boys". And the voice that sings it is just huge. I mean, the Wolf must have made the people around him feel like insects. It reminds me of the sound of a Harley, if you have the right pair of ears, you will only need to hear it once to remember it for the rest of your live.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best single-disc overview of an amazing career
If you're only ever going to buy one Howlin' Wolf-album (why? why would you want to to that?), this is the one to get.

Howlin' Wolf recorded some two hundred songs during his long career, and with room for 20 only, some hard choices must have been made by the compilers.
Chester Arthur Burnett, the Howlin' Wolf, stood about 6'4" and weighed close to three hundred pounds in his prime, and his huge, gravelly roar of a voice sounds positively frightening on early cuts like "Moanin' At Midnight" and the clanging, piano-driven boogie of "How Many More Years".

The songwriting credits are shared about equally by the omnipresent Willie Dixon, who plays bass on most of the cuts as well, and the Wolf himself, and "Hidden Charms" features perhaps the greatest guitar solo ever comitted to tape, courtesy of the hugely underestimated Hubert Sumlin, Wolf's right-hand man for more than twenty years.
Other highlights include "Forty-Four", "Smokestack Lightnin'", "The Red Rooster" and the phenomenal "Killing Floor", written by Howlin' Wolf, shamelessly stolen by Led Zeppelin and covered by several others, but never surpassed, and featured here in the ultimate version, sporting an incredibly catchy guitar riff by Hubert Sumlin, and Buddy Guy on acoustic rhythm guitar.

This CD is a corner stone in any serious blues collection, hard-rocking, bone-crunching electric blues, burning with the sheer ferocity of Chester Burnett's incredible voice. There was never anyone like the Wolf, and it doesn't seem likely that there will be.
Oh, and while you're at it, get "His Best vol. II" as well.

3-0 out of 5 stars His Best Chess
This CD was not what I was looking for. He played one item on the CD that was with the FULL sound, the others I didn't care for. I heard a song by him pertaining to a dope addict. I was told this was it - it was not. It was full and mesmerizing. Please recommend the CD I am looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars A unique Voice In The History Of Music
Yes, a totally unique voice in the history of all music. There is no one that sounds like The Wolf. My tastes in music are primarily classical, but the voice and music of this hulk of a man taught me to appreciate the blues.

This is music that can grip you emotionally. The pure rawness of it can even be on the scary side sometimes. No analysis is needed, all you gotta do is listen! What a performer he must have been in person!

A required disc for blues lovers, and might I suggest for all music lovers. Every time I listen to his music, I marvel. Most highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the Howlin' Growlin' Wolf's best.
This is a comprehensive collection of some of Howlin' Wolf's best music. The master of gravel voiced, gut bucket blues. A must have if you want to listen to Chicago electric blues....... ... Read more


20. Riding with the King
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Asin: B00004THAY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 825
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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It sounds like the beginning of a story: "So, Slowhand and the King of the Blues were riding in a car ..." If this is a musical journey, it's the kind that rolls down long, empty stretches of country highway at 80 miles an hour, with the top down and the stereo blasting. Clapton and King may be more city than country, but this collection has the relaxed, laid-back feel that only comes from a pair of veterans doing what they do best. What they do here is cover 12 classic blues songs, many of them staples of King's repertoire, so the title of this album makes sense. Whether it's the rollicking rock & roll of the title track, or the acoustic shuffle of "Key to the Highway," or the sweet notes of "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," a real sense of pleasure comes through on this album, the kind of pleasure one gets from jamming late at night with a good friend. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (325)

4-0 out of 5 stars A superb blues collection from two blues giants
"CLAPTON RULES!" As a huge Clapton fan, I say that a lot. After listening to his newest album, a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King, I'm considering changing that to "CLAPTON AND KING RULE!" Simply put, this is a very good blues album! The album opens with the kickin', blues-rock title track and the magic continues from there. One of my all-time favorite blues songs in particular, "Key to the Highway," makes an appearance on this album. This is a cool, laid-back, acoustic version of the song. (For the BEST version, though, check out the version on the 1970 classic "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" by Derek and the Dominos, which clocks in at over 9 minutes!) Another highlight is yet another laid-back, acoustic version of "Worried Life Blues." (Again, the BEST version can be found on Clapton's 1996 "Crossroads 2" 4-CD box set. For those who can't afford the set, it is also available on the 2-CD "Blues" collection, also by Clapton.) But not all the songs are re-done versions of my favorite Clapton tunes; "Help the Poor" can best be described as a "swampy" blues song, kind of like what you'd expect to hear out on the bayou. Excellent! But even at (6? 7?) minutes, it isn't long enough! For me, the album kind of peters out from tracks 9 thru 11 (hence, the 4-out-of-5-star review). While those songs ARE good, I think I need a little more time for them to grow on me. The album ends on a BEAUTIFUL note with the WAY too short "Come Rain or Come Shine." I was truly disappointed when it (and the album) ended! To sum, this is a very good blues album, released by two of the greatest blues-guitar legends. Clapton is a longtime "friend" of mine, but I hadn't really listened to much B.B. King. I think that's about to change as a result of this album. I hope you, the reviewer/listener make a new discovery or two as a result of listening to this jewel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Master Produce a Contemporary Blues Gem !
Ok, I'm a tad biased as I'm a huge Clapton fan (heck, he's still "god" in my book). The disc shows how to giants in the guitar world can show restraint and taste by sharing guitar and vocals. Clapton's tone is so sweet, pure strat and BB, well, he's the best at those short, jabs and staccoto licks. The playing is never over the top, which is a good thing, but adding the true bite or smooth emotion each song deserves. This album combines old blues gems like "Ten Long Years" & "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer", with Derek and the Dominoes "Key to the Highway" (done acoustic, a real treat) along with a few contemporary R&B covers penned by Doyle Bramhill II "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" (Doyle also plays rhythm guitar on this disc...he's gotta be smiling !).

Texas blues great Jimmie Vaughan adds a few biting solos to "Help the Poor". The backing band is also very tight and some of the finest around...Andy F. Low (guitars, EC's sideman) Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Joe Sample (piano) and Tim Carmon (B3 Organ.

The overall feel of this is "good time" blues, bouncing rhythms and the two blues guitar masters having fun. It's not the heavy sound of EC's "From the Cradle", but more like BB's "Blues on the Bayou".

A great cd that will no doubt win a Grammy and delight millions of blues fans (not to mention guitar players, like me).

Super summer driving tunes like the title track or "Marry You" will have their melodies locked into you head for days.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not the second coming, but a nice listen while it lasts
This album opens with a great rendition of John Hiatt's 1983 rocker "Riding With The King", which has very little to do with blues, but who cares...B.B. King is entitled to a bit of a break now and again, I suppose!

There is a lot of genuine blues here as well, however, and the eight-minute "Three O'Clock Blues" burns with long and (usually) excellent guitar solos from both men. Other highlights include a good rendition of Big Bill Broonzy's "Key To The Highway", a song which Clapton has recorded again and again for over 30 years, a nice, acoustic "Worried Life Blues", a seven-minute version of King's own "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer", and the best song on the album, a delightfully swinging "Help The Poor", Charles Singleton's 60s classic.

There are some clunkers here..."Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" are a couple of bland, repetitive dime-a-dozen rock songs, and the novelty-like "Days Of Old" isn't destined for classic-status either, but most of the album works really well, although a whole handful of weak songs are too many.
It's not the grittiest blues record I've ever heard (or the bluesiest), but it's a nice listen while it lasts.
3 3/4 stars. Good enough.

4-0 out of 5 stars Riding with the King (...and his grovelling apprentice)
Hmm, so big anticipation for this record and it lived up to it, i guess. It starts strong with Riding with the King, and immediately shows who's in charge here - BB's in control. For Clapton this is a chance for direct comparison to his hero. Listening you get the impression that he's going all out to impress but even on BB's average days he'd still lose.

Nevertheless, there are some outstanding blues on this album. The Big Bill Broonzy favourite, Key to the Highway, previously covered by both men, shows a rare acoustic treat on BB's behalf and seems to be a favourite with previous reviewers. The seven minute reworking on 3'o clock Blues is awesome as well; it features some great BB vocals and delicate guitar work by both men. My favourite track however is Days of Old. An up tempo Chicago blues, it shows a comfort between the two that perhaps is lacking on some of the slower tunes where Clapton flags.

Low lights are Help the Poor (see BB's Live at the Regal for a better version) and I Wanna Be which doesn't really seem to fit in with the blues genre. Overall, had Clapton not been quite so in awe of his recording partner here a better effect would have been acheived (even his liner notes seem rather incoherent compared to B's.) Having said this, for an introduction to the blues and BB King for fans of Clapton's rock legacy, this album is a good place to start. It shows what the two legends love to do and despite weak moments it is genuine and proves that Pop Idol is not the be all and end all of 21st century music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspired music from two Greats
Okay. I have just purchased the new Eric Clapton's CD called Me and Mr. Johson. And boy, did I dislike that CD for its lack of inspiration.

I wrote a review of it. Gave it a 3 star.

Then I got to thinking... when has EC made some decent music in the past ten or so years? Well one recording is THIS ONE.

This recording has passion, great singing, and some fantastic interplay between two guitar players.

I totally enjoy every song, and perhaps the presence of BB KING EC found that he must be on good, inspired behavior since he does not sleep walk through this recording like he seemingly did on some others.

Another great recording to grab onto, From The Cradle. Perhaps the best EC release in 20 years. ... Read more


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