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61. The Birth Of Soul : The Complete
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62. From the Cradle
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63. Sanctuary
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64. West Side Soul
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65. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
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66. Singing in the Bathtub
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67. Just Won't Burn
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68. Nickels & Dimes
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69. Hands Across the Table
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70. The Word
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71. Dr. John's Gumbo
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72. Come On In
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73. Peace...Back By Popular Demand
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74. Soul Shaker
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75. The Anthology: 1947-1972
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76. Best of the Parlophone Years
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77. Standing Room Only
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78. Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary
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79. East-West
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80. It Serves You Right to Suffer

61. The Birth Of Soul : The Complete Atlantic Rhythm & Blues Recordings, 1952-1959
list price: $39.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002IRW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10637
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Though this is not the most recent Ray Charles box set collection, it may be the best. That's because it focuses on Ray's great growth in the 1950s, particularly his days with Atlantic Records. The set opens with Ray still in a Charles Brown, smooth-voice, mellow-piano mode, but in short order, he discovers his own identity. From the good time of "It Should Have Been Me" on disc one, though the orgiastic "What'd I Say, Parts 1 & 2" on disc three, the man they call "The Genius" rocks, rolls, raises the rafters, and sinks way down low with the blues. This box also features an excellent essay by the late music historian, Robert Palmer. --Robert Gordon ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles + keyboard = SOUL
I doubt I could ever write anything about Ray Charles' music that hasn't already been said. So I'll just tell you two things...

1) Buy this collection - it's fantastic. Of course, these are not the only Ray Charles songs you'll want to buy -- for instance, you can't have a complete collection of his without classics like "One Mint Julep."

2) A few months ago, I was driving in my car, listening to the Allman Brothers with the windows down, and as I pulled up to the light, in the SUV beside me, sitting in the passenger seat, was Ray Charles. He was grooving to the CD I was playing -- I was so excited, I almost felt like it was me, and not Gregg Allman, singing "Wasted Words". And then when it was over, I realized something that had never entered my mind before: how much Gregg sounded like Ray Charles on that song. So many of our best artists have been influenced by this genius, there's no form of music around today that wouldn't be a whole lot different if Ray had never blessed us with his recordings.

So, thanks Ray, for giving me a great story to tell for the rest of my life, and for giving us all that great music. You da man!

5-0 out of 5 stars The essential Ray Charles
There are times when a particular string of sessions recorded by an artist for a particular label is so creatively significant that it marks not only a stylistic synthesis or breakthrough for that particular artist but also a touchstone for a whole branch of music. Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven sides for Columbia come to mind, as do Charlie Parker's Dial sessions and of course Presley's Sun sessions. The singles that Ray Charles recorded for Atlantic Records from 1952 to 1959 are similar, in that they not only mark a creative peak for Charles, but his unique mixture of elements of jazz, r&b, blues, and gospel led directly to the musical style that would be called soul. Thus the title of this collection (The Birth of Soul) is more than just jolly hyperbole but almost literally true. The brilliant synthesis didn't happen overnight, of course, and the second song here, "Roll With My Baby," sounds like an imitation of Nat King Cole. One of the pleasures of this collection is listening to him mature which he does soon enough. The singles are presented in strict chronological order with copious and easy-to-read session information. (Interesting that Connie Kay played drums on his first ten sides, and the importance of reedman David Newman to the band's sound can hardly be overstated.) Discs two and three are pure manna. It's rather startling to be reminded just how good Charles was in the fifties, arguably his most fertile and rewarding period. His years as a top-forty icon and later a soft drink pitchman have obscured his amazing earlier achievement. This well-produced package reminds us of what he SHOULD be known for. Robert Palmer's informative liner notes are another extra in a collection that does everything right---selection, sound mastering, packaging. This is the one Ray Charles set that should be considered essential to anyone interested in 20th-century American music.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to the late great Ray Charles
There is very little for me to say on this classic collection that all the 5 star reviews are true. What's more this collection is beyond rating.To quote the late great Frank Sinatra,'He was the only true genius in our buisness'.It's impossible to single out any standouts as they're all classics.This box set has been exsistence for 13 years.May it NEVER go out of print.It will be a perfect way to know where the legacy of brother Ray started.I'll conclued by thanking brother Ray for all the wonderful music over the the years.

5-0 out of 5 stars How To Present A "Best Of" Collection
This 3 CD box set effort from Atlantic should stand as a monument to the way an artist's "best of" compilation should be presented.

Ray's first charted hit came in 1949 for the Down Beat label as a member of The Maxin Trio when Confusion Blues reached # 2 on what passed then for the R&B charts. In 1951, on his own now with the Swing Time label, he then scored with Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand [# 5 R&B] and followed that in 1952 with Kiss-A Me Baby [# 8 R&B].

That led to a contract with Atlantic Records where, in May 1954, he had his first hit with It Should've Been Me [# 5 R&B] b/w Sinner's Prayer. That was followed in August by Don't You Know [# 10 R&B] b/w Losing Hand. All four sides are in this set.

Then came the seminal I've Got A Woman [sometimes listed as I Got A Woman] which soared to # 1 R&B early in 1955 b/w Come Back, itself a hit at # 4 R&B. In fact, from that point onwards to 1956's Hellelujah I Love Her So, he would have only double-sided hits. And they are ALL here, as are both sides to all his Atlantic hits up to, and including, the old Hank Snow Country smash [a hint of things to come with that genre] I'm Movin' On [# 11 R&B/# 40 pop] b/w I Believe To My Soul.

The only Atlantic hits not included are Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' [# 17 R&B/# 95 pop in 1960] and its B-side, Let The Good Times Roll [# 78 pop], and Just For A Thrill [# 16 R&B] and its flipside Heartbreaker. Also, while his final Atlantic hit, Tell The Truth [# 13 R&B in September 1960] is included, the B-side Sweet Sixteen Bars is not.

These, however, are minor quibbles. The large 32-page booklet contains not only a complete discography of the contents, along with numerous photographs and album/45rpm/poster reproductions, but an extensive essay as well, written by Robert Palmer.

Deserves a prize place in any serious music collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars This one is really worth it
This box set is absolutely worth it. First of all, Ray Charles made the recordings that embodied a new style---Soul, as it is now called. What's fascinating is to hear Ray Charles move from a fairly good imitator of Nat King Cole and Charles Brown to his own synthesis of all the music he loved---gospel, jazz, blues, R&B and yes, country! Country loved him too, as the Everly Brothers recorded several Ray Charles tunes and Ray did a killer version of "Bye Bye Love" on his "Modern Sounds" LP. This box set is a textbook for any musician who wants to learn how to play great piano. Just play along as best you can, if you cop even just 10% of his riffs you are probably funkier than you ever were! I have written out the chords to about ten of these tunes and they are brilliant. Just the chords to "Drown In My Own Tears" are an education in soul. This is one box set you can't get tired of listening to. ... Read more


62. From the Cradle
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000002MTU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5982
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The full-tilt blues album that Clapton had been promising for years, From the Cradle proves the guitarist's enduring devotion to a form he had long relegated to merely a flavor in his music rather than the main ingredient. Clapton's singing on the album is somewhat mannered; he tries to compete with original versions of these songs by Muddy Waters, Charles Brown, and others, and there's no way he's going to win that battle. Still, you can feel the emotional connection Clapton has with these songs, and guitar aficionados will swoon over his fretwork on songs such as "Third Degree," "Someday After a While," and the incendiary "Groanin' the Blues." --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clapton Thanks His Roots And Influences
Eric Clapton has built a career around the blues-from John Mayall to Cream, Derek and the Dominos to his solo career. His guitar playing has always been influenced by the blues. But he has recently turned into a pop-rock musician, ignoring his roots and influences. Here, on From the Cradle, Clapton finally does a full-tilt blues rock album with 16 legendary blues tunes. The result is that we are introduced again to the Eric Clapton we hadn't seen in a long time (and will continue to miss later)-scorching blues guitar, gritty and desperate vocals, and blues staples. The first track, "Blues Before Sunrise," is an all-out gritty rocker, and "Third Degree," is a slower paced gem. This is far from mainstream, but Clapton has a lot of fans who would rather he not be. Don't accuse him of not being original-he's not trying to be. Another great fact is that all tracks were recorded live in studio. He is simply getting back to his roots, back to the reason he went into music in the first place.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent blues album, don't be fooled by the "experts".
In response to all of the recent negative reviews that have surfaced about this recording,let me say that I am not a blues musician but I will put my collection of classic blues albums up against that of any reviewer here who claims to be steeped in the "real blues" and I wouldn't have these wonderful recordings if it weren't for artists like Eric Clapton or The Rolling Stones who have done so much to expose us to all of the great post-war masters of the form. This album is an outstanding tribute to those great artists and Clapton has put 30 years of playing the blues into it. Granted he cannot sing "Hoochie Coochie Man" like Muddy Waters, nobody can and Eric himself would be the first to agree. But on the other hand, I haven't heard anybody yet who could replicate the sound of Muddy's slide on "Standin' Round Cryin'" the way Eric does on this record and he takes Freddie King's "Someday, After Awhile" to new heights. Buy this album for the blues guitar playing, it's stellar. And for those musicians out there who think Eric can't play the blues or just doesn't have any soul in his playing, let me quote Riley B. King: "Eric Clapton plays the blues as good as anyone, better than most."

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST
I have to recommend this cd to ANYONE that is interested in listening to the blues and some RAW emotion displayed through music. This cd was one of the first that I ever listened to by Mr. Clapton along with TIME PIECES and UNPLUGGED. I thrived off of them. I wanted to learn more and branched off to other genres of blues and jazz performed by artists such as BB KING and JELLY ROLL MORTON. This artist not only kept my interest alive but inspired me to LEARN about the culture of this type of music as well as enjoy it. I saw Mr. Clapton in concert tonight for the first time, and if you think this man does not know how to include SOUL, RYTHM, or BLUES into his music, you have never seen him live. From the time they unrolled his oriental rug on the stage, to the second standing ovation he received, it had to have undoubtedly be one of the best concerts I have ever seen. If you are a fan of the blues, you are a fan of Eric Clapton!

4-0 out of 5 stars Clapton's finest guitar ever
This is, hands down, Clapton's best guitar playing. It's all there. The phrasing is immaculate and tasteful. In terms of timing he's playing ahead of the beat, behind it, and everywhere around it. This is a development in his technique. Overall, he just sounds like he's on the blues war path. He had just quit smoking which could explain the burst of energy. Otis Rush claims this is one of the top ten all time blues guitar albums. The only thing holding this album back is that it's all covers. This is a minor criticism to an otherwise masterpiece of guitar work by "God."

5-0 out of 5 stars This is What it is About
From the Cradle represents some of Clapton's best work. Now he has a lot of great work (for me, mostly blues) over a very long period of time. Some people want to hear just the originals, and that's OK, but to hint at a complaint of covering the blues is to not understand the blues. I am a blues fan and a player of the blues. I love the blues. Yes, I have the originals too, and I can get into them for review. However, the blues (and I think most music) is to be interpreted, not copied. And here, as well in later works, Eric is interpreting the blues. As a player, I don't necessarily play with a bunch of guys to copy a song. We kind of change it around to fit our own styles and sound. I definitely think it is better to listen to, and a whole lot more fun to play. If we didn't have interpretation of music by your local bands, we wouldn't have many local bands, and to me quite honestly it is difficult to pay much attention to your average local band if there are too many originals, unless of course their originals are really exceptional. Which brings us right back to this album. This is a great interpretation, and Eric went on to keep releasing blues albums that keep sounding great. I find his interpretations inspiring, and make me want to pick up a guitar or bass and jam along with Eric, having a really good time. And that's what music is all about. Right? ... Read more


63. Sanctuary
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0001HAI7M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3415
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Harmonica giant Charlie Musselwhite has evolved from stone traditionalist to blues experimentalist in recent years, with excursions into Tejano, country, and jazz. Now, with the help of Blind Boys of Alabama producer John Chelew, the 60-year-old has made a masterpiece that balances his music's Delta soul with sonic innovation. Musselwhite's world-weary singing is perfect for the haunting textures that the scraped and bell-toned guitar strings bring to "Train toNowhere" and Randy Newman's "Burn Down the Cornfield," songs where the fog of danger hangs in the air like ectoplasm. Slide-guitar guests Sonny Landreth and Ben Harper bring rippling energy to the bad-luck story "Shootin' for the Moon" and the Harper-penned spiritual "Homeless Child." And the Blind Boys' zesty old-time harmonies turn Musselwhite's biographical "I Had Trouble" into a gospel-tent confession. But, if the voice of God appears anywhere, it's in Musselwhite's always lush and mesmerizing harmonica. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Mussel
On the Internet you'll find Charlie Musselwhite's Alligator Records bio, his VH1 bio. And his Blind Pig Records bio and many others, so well-traveled is this blues icon

And it seems as if this master of the blues harp has been around as long as harmonicas. He adds to his legend with each album and guest appearance and here's his latest - Sanctuary (Real World)

I locked into it on the 2nd listen and it's a special recording. The songs are from great writers. Randy Newman's "Burn Down the Cornfield", Townes Van Zandt's "Snake Song" and Sonny Landreth's "Shootin' For the Moon are here. There are also songs written by Musselwhite, Ben Harper (the album's best cut, "Homeless Child"), a song by the album's guitarist Charlie Sexton and an interesting version of the old Savoy Brown song "Train to Nowhere" was what initially got my attention.

It's tempting to automatically accept any effort from Charlie Musselwhite as exceptional. But his Sanctuary is quite an album, and his vocals and harp playing are strong and clear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow! Amazing!
This is an amazing cd. I have been a Musselwhite fan for several years, but this one surpasses them all. I can't stop playing it! If you are a blues fan, get this one right now, you won't be sorry!

5-0 out of 5 stars like a movie without a screen
I have to say that I experienced "Sanctuary" rather than just listened to it. I am a huge fan of Charlie and I read reviews of the CD before I purchased it. The excellent reviews gave me high hopes and could have set me up for disappointment, but the following attests to how much I enjoy the experience of "Sanctuary."

The CD has 12 tunes that work together like 12 scenes in a drama. While each tune tells its own story, after listening to the CD in its entirety, you don't feel much different than you do at the end of a movie that tells a story about a person or a family and the ups and downs of their lives. So, yes, "Sanctuary" is a CD that you can play from start to finish without skipping a tune.

To blues fans and musicians, Charlie is an icon. On this CD he beautifully demonstrates the power and flexibility of the harmonica. On some tunes, the harp sounds like a traditional harmonica and on others, Charlie makes it sound like a violin or cello. When you add in Charlie's singing, you really connect with the feelings of "Sanctuary."

The most interesting thing to me about this CD is that experiencing it is a perfect example of the meaning of the second definition of the word sanctuary as found in Merriam Webster's online dictionary: a place of refuge and protection.

5-0 out of 5 stars CAN'T STOP HUMMING!
I'm just discovering the Blues, so I'm no expert. I heard several of the songs from this album performed on World Cafe and had to buy it. I love it - especially the first six tracks.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Sanctuary" Available April 6th!
"Sanctuary" - Charlie Musselwhite
Real World Records - April 6, 2004

CD Review by Celeste - April 11, 2004
(Reprint of review for blues society.)

Sanctuary - holy place; shrine; the chancel, church or other place of protection for fugitives
Sanctuary Synonyms - refuge, home, haven, harbor, port, asylum, retreat, fortress, castle, shelter
Shelter - a place or structure giving protection; that which covers or defends; a place of refuge or asylum

Holy Week was an appropriate time for Charlie Musselwhite's new CD "Sanctuary" to be released. These are dark times that we live in and everyone needs sanctuary, in multiple forms, on various levels. Thank God for music! I'll tell you what I think about this CD, but don't wait, buy it today and listen to it for yourself (...) There are a number of interesting subtleties surrounding this CD. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but the day of the release, April 6th, happens to be the anniversary of Big Walter Horton's birthday. Something else I'll ask Charlie about in our upcoming interview, are the five symbols above the letters, the notation seems familiar to me somehow. Also, I wonder why his eyes appear on the publicity photos but not the CD jacket covers... what does this mean, does this mean anything? I can't be the only curious one. ;^}

The Sanctuary Band formed by Charlie Musselwhite ~ vocals and harmonica, Charlie Sexton ~ guitar and vocals, Jared Michael Nickerson ~ bass, and Michael Jerome ~ drums, definitely have a good groove going. They each played with great emotion on this recording. I particularly like the instrumental that the four wrote together, "Shadow People", I find it surreal, elastic, spooky and soothing simultaneously. The images invoked are vivid, looking over your shoulder, envisioning people in the shadows... the bass and drums intertwine as the harp and guitar float around, through and back again. Several others also have this "surreal feel" to them, "Snake Song" (by Thomas Van Zandt) and "The Neighborhood"(by Charlie Sexton). The rhythms are wonderful throughout this CD. I took an exceptional liking to the drums on Snake Song just as I did the harp on the second instrumental (song 9). "Alicia", (written by jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris), was certainly done justice by the band. And Charlie's harp interpretation of this song was simply beautiful... it is inspiring indeed to listen to the inspired. :^}

Back to the beginning, it's starts off with CM singing 'Nowhere here to call my home, nobody near to call my own' in Ben Harper's "Homeless Child". Very nice slide guitar and vocals, backup singing and clapping, and yes, harp! (That's the first question that others seem to ask about the CD, is there much harp on it?) Why yes, yes, there is and Charlie is in fine form. ;^} In addition to his guest appearance on the first song, Ben Harper is also sitting in with the band on "Sanctuary", (written by Lee Breuer and Bob Telson). Although the title track is peaceful overall, it made me sad to hear Charlie singing of his final resting-place. (I lost four uncles and a good friend the Year of the Blues; though I am comforted that they are in a better place, it saddens me nonetheless.) They picked the beat right back up in the next song, "I Had Trouble" (by CM) It's difficult to articulate how blues can cheer you up but this song can explain what I cannot; it's one of my favorites as is Charlie's moving harp solo that follows it, "Route 19". Several special guests, The Blind Boys of Alabama, added their special touch to I Had Trouble and they also appeared on "Train To Nowhere" (by Chris Youlden and Kim Simmonds) 'Yeaheaaaa, You better not ride'. (Watch your volume if you listen with headphones, you'll be humming and tapping louder than you think.)

One song that I've had fun jamming to at the end of a long, stressful day is Charlie's "My Road Lies In Darkness" ~ There's a long, long road, don't seem like it has an end... we can all relate to that. :^} I wasn't sure though what to make of the words in "Burn Down The Cornfield" (by Randy Newman), it's sultry, but slightly strange. "Shootin' For The Moon" (by Sonny Landreth) is faster with interesting lines too ~ 'Crash landing in the Crescent City!'

There's a little bit of everything in these songs, many are blended, from blues to funk to alternative to jazz to rock. (It's a shame that music has to be 'classified' as anything, as a friend says though, there is a purpose of labeling a genre, it's so the kid stocking the shelves will know where to put them.) I think that many people with various backgrounds and different tastes will enjoy this CD. I bought extra copies for family and friends, they arrived quickly, and seven received theirs at Easter dinner! :^} I highly recommend Sanctuary to everyone! I love this CD! ... Read more


64. West Side Soul
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000004BIF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4934
Average Customer Review: 4.87 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Many believe this 1967 landmark, Sam Maghett's first full-length studio recording, is the greatest blues album ever made. While that assertion is awfully difficult to substantiate, these 11 gems (plus one alternate) certainly deserve hyperbolic praise. These cuts have a dramatically direct emotional appeal, a blunt, unfiltered artlessness that's rarely been achieved in an electric setting. Sam's spirited vocals come from his heart and his belly, not his brain. His guitar work is smoothly melodic, à la B. B. King with a bit more bite, frenetic and energetic like Buddy Guy, but with more taste. Since this Mississippi native died at age 32, this album sits in a mystical place in blues history: In many ways, it is to Chicago blues what Robert Johnson's meager output is to Delta blues. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for any Chicago Blues fan
While maybe not quite as well known as his brethren of the West Side Sound - Freddie King (Freddie moved to Chicago as a teenager) and Buddy Guy, Magic Sam deserves a place in the Pantheon of Blues. His sense of ryhtym and timing are second to none and his soulful vocal delivery will send shivers down your spine. On this disc he shows his mastery of a variety of styles from old standards like Sweet Home Chicago to boogie tunes like I Wanna Boogie to minor blues tunes like All of Your Love with its searing vocals and guitar runs.

4-0 out of 5 stars Soulful blues. (Or bluesy soul...)
This album is Magic Sam Maghett's finest hour, and one of the finest electric blues albums of the 60s.

He plays blues with a strong soul influence, particularly on the magnificent "That's All I Need" and "I Don't Want No Woman". Classic slow blues ("All Of Your Love", "I Found A New Love"). And superb versions of Jimmy McCracklin's "Every Night And Every Day", Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and J.B. Lenoir's "Mama Talk To Your Daughter".

Not everything is equally memorable, of course, and the arrangements may feel a little bit unvaried towards the end, but the overall impression of "West Side Soul" is that of a truly great, electrifying blues record, one which belongs in any serious blues collection.
4 1/2 stars - highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars MY FATHER
I HAVE NOT LISTEN TO ALL MY FATHER'S MUSIC YET. BUT THE MUSIC THAT I HAVE HEARD ALL READY I LOVE. SO FAR MY FAVORITE SONG IS, ALL YO LOVE AND BACK DOOR FRIEND. I AM THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF MAGIC SAM. I WOULD LIKE TO GET KNOW MY OTHER BROTHERS AND SISTER'S. BUT I DO APPRECIATE EVERYONE THAT LISTEN AND BUY'S MY FATHER MUSIC. I HOPE TO GO VISIT THE BLUES CLUB DOWN TOWN CHICAGO
ON MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR. I WAS TOLD THAT HIS NAME WAS ON THE WALL.I WOLD NOT MIND TO LET THEM KNOW THAT I AM HIS DAUGHTER.
THANK YOU, MS.NINA MAGHETT

5-0 out of 5 stars Soaring
Magic Sam's gorgeous voice is reminiscent of Sam Cooke. With each phrase he conveys a sense of joy. The guitarwork is something of a bonus--but quite a bonus. His combination of rhythm and single -note picking is great to hear. In (both versions of) "I Don't Want No Woman" The melodic runs hit high and low,jumping above and below the implied chord. "Sweet Home Chicago" is propelled by simple chord runs punctuated by exclamatory single note picking. Sometimes there are simply too many notes, but this is a quibble in the face of such an exciting and joyous album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Man, what an album
I can't really disagree with anyone else. This is a great album, maybe not the greatest, but it's certainly on par with B.B.'s Live at the Regal which I also love. Magic Sam really expresses the melancholy that I like about the blues (on That's All I Need especially). This feeling became less important (but was still there) as the blues morphed into rock and roll. That's why I prefer the Stones to the Beatles. In their best songs, the Stones still have it, the Beatles really don't.

No matter what my mood is, the best blues just seems to fit. If I'm feeling good, then I can slip into the groove and relax. If I'm feeling low, then the blues lifts me up. It doesn't make me "forget my troubles" (a phrase I've always hated) but just helps me feel the mood without wallowing in it.

If you like this album, I'd also recommend Otis Spann, he doesn't have the swagger of his one-time boss Muddy Waters but is more relaxed and reflective like Magic Sam. ... Read more


65. Fess: The Professor Longhair Anthology
list price: $31.98
our price: $28.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000334U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 24465
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

New Orleans' Henry Roeland Byrd wasn't the most polished of all the great R&B pianists of the '40s and '50s, but even Ray Charles and Otis Spann rarely matched his speed. This superb two-disc set repeats the Professor's signature style--a stomping left-hand bass and a right hand that flies all over the place--on classics such as "Tipitina," "Junco Partner," and "Ball the Wall." It begins in the early '50s, when 'Fess called his band Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers, and ends with an incredible, stretched-out live version of "Big Chief" (with Dr. John) and "Boogie Woogie" (with fellow New Orleans pianists Allen Toussaint and Tuts Washington).--Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Many nights at Tip's
No air-conditioning then, and after awhile you didn't even care anymore. With the Professor banging out the musical equal of both sugar and whiskey, life at that moment was pretty damn good there at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas Street.

Yeah, yeah, you had to be there, but since you probably weren't, here's something for you so you can see what all the fuss is about. A little lagniappe for you at the end, too, with the Professor kickin' it way big with some friends.

Meet you tomorrow at the Camelia for breakfast, cher. . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Rockin' Oldies for the Hardcore Fess' Fan
If you're lookin for a good mix of old school Jazz/Blues tunes, you've come to the right place. Fess' has a good list of classics ranging from hard-hitting Jazz to the soft Blues when you're in the mood. If you've ever wanted Fess' hits on one CD, here you are. Tipitina, Big Chief, Stag-O-Lee, it's all here.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Legend
I have listened to this CD dozens of times in the last few months. Its joyous and uplifting yet still reflects some of the pain in the Professor's life. The little book with pictures and a mini biography that are included are worth the price of the 2 CD set. After listening once, you'll want to head to the Big Easy, stop at Tipitina's, and rub Fess' head for good luck. Those of you who have been there know what I'm talking about. The man is a true legend.

5-0 out of 5 stars hey now baby
I'd never heard note one of Fess' music when I bought this set. My gut said it would be good, and my gut turned out to be Nostradamus. The fact that this guy ever had trouble making ends meet is a testament to how upside down the music industry can be. I try to be sparing with the stars, and there is no doubt that this set deserves all five. This is pure good time music. The man was a party on the piano. I carried the CD with me everywhere I went for the first week I owned it. In my car, in my room, in other people's cars (I insisted, no one complained), in other people's rooms. Jerry Lee Lewis is nothing but watered down 'Fess. Take yours straight.

5-0 out of 5 stars By far the most played CD I own
This music is the richest sounding music the human ear has ever had the pleasure of hearing. From the Hadacol Bounce to Cuttin' out to Tipitina to etc. and beyond, every cut is played with that special Rhumba Boogie shuffle with the Proffessor singing at the top of his lungs. Whooaaahhh Lalalala. A whole lotta uh uh for you. This is the joy music was meant to be. And you too will be a Fess Fan! Just ask Fats Domino and John Bonham. ... Read more


66. Singing in the Bathtub
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B000000DSP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 33151
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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In the late '70s the Cheap Suit Serenaders--fronted by comix legend Robert Crumb but also featuring fellow old-time music artistes Robert Armstrong, Bob Brozman, Al Dodge, Tom Marion, and Terry Zwigoff (who would later produce a whole film on Crumb)--were the only group around who would even think about still producing 78s. After all, that's where all their favorite music came from. Those platters are now highly collectible, but their albums live on, reissued on CD. Singing in the Bathtub collects some of their best work--humorous originals such as "Suits Crybaby Blues" and plenty of covers of tunes from obscure 78s. Their playing is flawless (you probably haven't heard the steel guitar, banjo mandolin, or musical saw played with such virtuosity as here), the tunes are mostly fun and spirited, and the music styles are varied. In the hands of the Cheap Suits, old-time music is alive and well. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars MAKES YOUR FEET TAP AND BRINGS A SMILE TO YOUR FACE!
An all too forgotten music brought back to life, by this amazing band of well humored and talented musicians. Find modern day albums are sufficently lacking in the playing of a saw?!! well search no further! This CD resurects instruments and music long past, but never out of style. Mr. Robert Crumb has certainly left his mark on this world in very unique ways :)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Sensitive guys who play old outdated tunes"; what a treat!
I have all three of the original vinyl LP albums and thought I'd never get to hear these wonderful tunes again when my turntable broke and I switched to CDs. Crumb & Company complain in their self-mocking Suits Crybaby Blues: "Nobody likes our music, they all want stuff that's loud". Whatever the market may be, this music makes my soul soar. It's not "Camp", that 60s fad where truly bad pop culture was held up as unconscious self-parody. These multi-talented, multimedia artists lovingly render these obscure, high-spirited and quaintly corny echoes from a more innocent era. Naive, a bit goofy, and even somewhat racist in an innocent way ( "Sing Song Girl" portrays cartoonish orientals)this music evokes the enthusiastic rowdiness of an America on a binge. Much like R. Crumb's comix, the stuff may be a bit politically incorrect and even grotesque, but it is raucously entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars Grand? Yes - - thank you!
I agree, "grand" is just the word for this kind of music.

I'm surprised at myself for liking this CD as much as I do. Although I enjoyed (is that the word?) the film, "Crumb," and now some of R. Crumb's comic art, I didn't expect to enjoy his music so much. Sure I like different kinds of music, but I'm mostly a classical or classic rock 'n roll kind of guy.

Simply put, this music is a lot of fun. I don't know for sure, but it seems the vocals on this disc are a little better than the those on "Chasin' Rainbows" (judging from the RealAudio samples). Not that the vocals on this disc are great, but it's all great fun. Anyway this is a disc to put on when one needs cheering up (for me, Bach or sometimes Mozart can also help in this regard). Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars thugs with jugs
I happen to own the original three records of Robert Crumb and his CSS. Grand is the only word to fill the title on this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Happy, heartfelt, tongue-in-cheek .. this is music my friend
As if it weren't enough that Robert Crumb was one of the outstanding inventors of the 60's style underground cartoon art (often imitated, never duplicated .. remember Janis Joplin's first album cover?) .. this album has got to be one of the understated works of our time. Robert has an outstanding line up (for example, Brozman who is a slack key style player, and also appears as an instructor in Home Spun Video tape courses). I love this stuff! It makes me happy .. it's sincere and heartfelt .. qualities which are completely absent in so much of today's modern over marketed trend ridden music! This CD actually put me in touch with a part of myself that had been long lost .. experiencing the fun and enjoyment of listening to good music performed with spirit. -- Big Nick ... Read more


67. Just Won't Burn
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B000003A1E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5014
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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A Boston native now living in Atlanta, Sue Tedeschi gets wildly overpraised by some purported blues pundits and gratuitously slammed by others. The truth lies somewhere in between. She's an earnest but undistinguished singer and a functional songwriter-guitarist whose music provides mild entertainment. On an album that veers between blues-slanted material (try "Friar's Point") and bluesy pop-rock (take your pick), she carries on with élan but none of the finesse or emotional clarity of a big-league singer like Joan Osborne or Bonnie Raitt. Tedeschi's cover of John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery," alas, is her blatant imitation of the famous redhead but it is light years away from Raitt's persuasive capacity for interpreting lyrics. The most alluring track is "Can't Leave You Alone," written by Tedeschi band member Adrienne Hayes, who unleashes a stirring little guitar solo therein. --Frank-John Hadley ... Read more

Reviews (215)

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best blues singers in a long time!
You guys must be kidding, and you've clearly never seen Susan live. (By the way you've also left out Blues Revue's review of her work which is more to the point). I have been a blues fan for about 25 years and I have to say she is one of the best blues singers in a long time! Her voice is both powerful and evocative. She reminds me of the best of Bonnie Raitt mixed with the best of Janis Joplin (I've seen both live) I have seen her twice. Once her set overpowered Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang and other more well known blues stalwarts. The other time she just blew the crowd away with the songs on Just Won't Burn and her bands version of Got My Mojo Working. I can't wait to hear her now that she's teaming with Double Trouble. The only thing I might say is that her album doesn't do her justice - although I find that is true about almost every blues artist I have seen from BB King to Eric Clapton. My advice - get the album, see her live and follow her career.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing like Janis, but great nonetheless
I thought this album was great, although the guitar solos sounded sloppy in some places. But they give the album a raw edge that is notably absent in most recordings. It doesn't sound slick, overproduced, or commercial. Keep in mind, this is only her second album, and if this is any indication of Susan's potential as a great blues singer, her fans have found a winner.

Personal side gripe: I was given this album by a friend, who knows I'm a Janis Joplin fan, and he said, "Listen to this--she sounds just like Janis!" Well, Susan has a powerful voice, but she doesn't sound anything like Janis (IMHO). Reading reviews of the album, it seems many are comparing her to Janis or Bonnie Raitt. Why are their talents the standards by which most female blues singers are measured? Certainly the influence is there, but the sound is fresh and unique. Susan Tedeschi should stand on her own, and listeners should not be expecting to hear somebody else's music.

But aside from that--her voice is haunting and she can play a mean guitar...can't wait for the next album!

5-0 out of 5 stars Susan rocks!
The way Susan sings and plays guitar makes you want to get up and move! Isn't that what it's all about? Her voice is amazing, and it's been said before that she sounds a bit like a mix of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, but she's also her own. Get this album and listen to it, you won't be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Little person,Big Sound!!
Saw Susan at blues fest in upstate New York.She wowed the place.Bought Just Wont Burn the same day.Turned alot of people on to it.They loved it as much as I do.Take it for what it is,Blues that wont dissapoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars She's mean
She sings 'mean' take-charge blues on the rock.
Excellent! ... Read more


68. Nickels & Dimes
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Asin: B0007R8FGM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7634
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best!
Wow! I was bowled over by this Cd. Where has this guy been hiding? This disc one of the best discs I've heard in a while. Great harp, singing, songs, and a great band to boot, featuring Junior Watson on guitar. If you like REAL blues, and miss William Clarke, you owe it to yourself to check this guy out. Not a clunker on this Cd. Can't wait for his next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!
What a great blues cd.In my opinion Mitch is the finest harmonica player in the world today, bar none, and this cd confirms it.The title track, Nickels & Dimes, firmly establishes his place as a great song writer too.And the other musicians are great as well from the guest artists to Jr. Watson.CHECK IT OUT! ... Read more


69. Hands Across the Table
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Asin: B0007R8FH6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13642
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Few traditional bluesmen have the swinging elegance and vocal grace of ex-Roomful of Blues frontman Sugar Ray Norcia. And this is his finest solo album, full of warm performances and well-written original tunes. Even when Sugar Ray's grinding out a Chicago shuffle like "I Done Got Wise," both his warm singing and his harp solos create luxurious melodies full of richly sustained notes that carefully underscore the deep emotions that put life in his lyrics. The title cut and "The Last Blues Song" are among his best numbers. The former explores the pain of possible infidelity and the latter is a secular prayer for a better world, set to a spare piano arrangement that gives Sugar Ray room to weave colorful filigrees and wide dynamics into his vocal phrases. He's also got a skillful journeyman Bluetones lineup here, with fellow Roomful alums Doug James and Carl Querfurth on sax and trombone; veteran Handy-nominated Michael "Mudcat" Ward on bass; Neal Gouvin on drums; and on guitar, Paul Size, whocomfortably fills the seat formerly held by Ronnie Earl and Mike Welch. They play together with transparent mastery, giving the boss plenty of license to exercise his considerable talents. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smoking Sugar
Sugar Ray's latest is a return to form, for the veteran singer and harmonica player. For years, Ray Norcia, honed his skills with Ronnie Earl, Roomful of Blues and the crop of the breed within blues. This effort brings back the Bluetones and newest guitar wiz Paul Size, once a member of the legendary outfit Red Devils. As can be expected, fantastic singing and creative harp-blowing, and definitely well chosen covers and originals. The mix is eclectic, no doubt, but it gels and cooks! Sugar was always a wonderful singer and his phrasing is nothing short of top notch. The songs cover old style R&B, rock, a few jazzy numbers and blues shuffles. Compared to his previous CD, this is clearly an improvement, this is easily this years best blues CD this far. ... Read more


70. The Word
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Asin: B00005M98F
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 30000
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Sweet surrender's always been the subtext of gospel music, but thevelvet punch of this superstar jam band will knock out secular audiences aswell. The Word features John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood andyoungblood trio the North Mississippi Allstars,but its star is Robert Randolph, a 23-year-old from New Jersey who is the newgod of pedal-steel guitar. Randolph earned his chops in the Pentecostal church,performing the so-called "Sacred Steel" music well documented by the Arhoolielabel (see Sacred Steel, Vol. 2 for asample). He plays like an amalgamation of Duane Allman, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck,John Coltrane, Buddy Emmons, Bo Diddley, and Mahalia Jackson. In short, he'sbrilliant, so full of rock & roll energy, improvisational fire, and sonicacrobatics that the other great musicians on this disc mostly stay out of hisway. Randolph has a seemingly divine gift for on-the-fly harmony as he splitsthe difference between Sunday tent meetings and Saturday juke crawls on "KeepYour Lamp Trimmed & Burning." In the Allman Brothers-style jams,Randolph plays both Dickey Betts and Duane to Medeski's organ, handling sweet,clean scales and rich, mellow slide slurs. But his vocabulary extends wellbeyond American-roots music. "Blood on That Rock" ends in a free-improvmeltdown, and elsewhere his snaky lines sound like Middle Eastern holy singing.All of which makes The Word worth heeding. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Jamfan MUST HAVE
During a summer when there is no mega tour; when everything seems like a brady bunch rerun you've seen 304 times: Out comes THE WORD. Fresh, innovative and uplifting; FUNKY, soulful and creative... it's all in The Word. Joyful Sounds and Waiting On My Wings have irresistable riffs that tattoo on the brain for days. Blood on That Rock and I'll Fly away are spacey, layered and complex while changing tempo and pitch lay in the hands (and foot) of the Pedal Steel guitar master, Robert Randolph: who hadn't played outside of his church band more than a handful of times before this project. If you have any inclination toward: Phish, String Cheese, Deep Bananna Blackout, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Allman Brothers, BB King, Hendrix, Clapton or straight up GOSPEL BLUES ROCK- You must have THE WORD.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Word" is Great!!
The first time I'd heard of this band was a few weeks ago. A friend who had seen them at The Birchmere in Virginia and another friend who is a rabid Robert Randolph fan, tipped me off. Their advice and having just recently seen the North Mississippi Allstars live for the first time, had me eagerly anticipating the release of the this CD. That anticipation of this all instrumental recording was well rewarded! The Allstars provide a rock-solid foundation for the fabulous pedal steel guitar work of Robert Randolph and the keyboards of John Medeski. Though I'm not a fan of Medeski, Martin and Wood, Medeski's playing in this context is outstanding. The group calls this a "gospel record" and indeed it is based on the bluesy, gospel style of music played in House of God churches. Robert Randolph learned his chops playing in the church, where the steel guitar is a featured instrument. There are several songs where Randolph and Luther Dickinson, of the Allstars, trade guitar licks that are reminiscent of the Allman Brothers in their heyday. Other songs have a Hawaiian slack-key guitar sound. This is a great CD and one that I highly recommend purchasing. I hear these guys are fantastic live, so if you have a chance to see them, do NOT pass it up!

2-0 out of 5 stars Skip this album
I am amazed by the number of great reviews The Word received from enthusiastic listeners. Personally, I thought that this album was a sorry attempt at gospel jam. Bottom line: good musicians playing together don't necessarily make a good album.
The songs barely hold together while they are in full force, and seem to carry on through pure momentum. And they don't quite "end" - they just sort of screech to a halt. This kind of playing is expected from barroom bands and pickup jams - not the best players today's jam scene has to offer.
John Medeski's playing will disappoint any fan of the groove trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood. When he is audible at all, his playing is tasteless and uninteresting. The great Robert Randolph is at his worst, unfortunately, on pedal steel. His playing is painfully out of tune for much of the album, and serves as a clear example of why this album [is not my favorite]. It appears that The Word was little more than a pickup jam session at a studio, that judging by the recording quality, was miked with one microphone dangling in the middle of the room. This is easily the worst-recorded album I have heard in five years.
While there are some decent points on The Word, among them track 7 (I'll fly away), and track 3 (blood on that rock), most of the album sounds completely unrehearsed. Granted, sometimes this works - a famous example being Kind of Blue, which consisted entirely of first takes. But here it most certainly doesn't. The band sounds lost from start to finish, from the drummer's bizarre, misplaced time changes to Medeski's frightened keyboard work. I write this review because, as a fan of all musicians involved, I was extremely disappointed with The Word.

Finally, all my complaints against The Word could be put aside as poor recording, planning, and rehearsal, if there was something redeemable behind it all. There isn't. Randolph's playing is out of tune and annoying, from the piercing repeated notes for four or five measures, to the cheesy blues riffs he passes off as soul- they sound like they are out of the Mel Bay Guitar Manual. I love Medeski and Robert Randolph, and I am an avid blues, soul, gospel, and jam listener. But this album comes up short in every respect.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best commercial releases of 2001
The Word, comprised of John Modeski (Modeski, Martin & Wood), Robert Randolph and the North Mississippi All-Stars, has supplied us with an amazing combination of rock, funk, jazz and even gospel. Learning to play the Sacred Steel (his steel-pedal guitar) in church, Robert Randolph will be a household name through his driving sound. It is music that attracts music lovers of all generations and tastes. One of the best I own, and certainly the best new cd of the past couple of years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eat a Peach 2002
Its different,but it really reminds me of Eat a Peach. A highly competant sacred Steel player who reveres SRV playing with group of musicians in the same midset. This is a jamming album that really cooks. A very pleasant surprise. ... Read more


71. Dr. John's Gumbo
list price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002I6P
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6281
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

After the studio bloat of 1971's The Sun, Moon & Herbs, Gumbo is a tightly focused return to Rebennack's musical roots. His band is full of Louisiana legends (Harold Battiste, Lee Allen) plus lesser known but equally important 'Nawlins heroes: Ronnie Barron, Alvin Robinson, and a wonderful trombonist known simply as Streamline. Together, they rage through a dozen New Orleans classics, not only the work of Professor Longhair and Huey Smith, but also Earl King and Ray Charles, who lived in the Crescent City while leading the house band at the Dew Drop Inn. Many of these songs are closely associated with the '50s, but Gumbo never sounds forced or nostalgic; it's great work from start to finish. --Keith Moerer ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars isn't high enough!
This is not only the best Dr John recording ever, it is my all time favorite by anyone. Total perfection!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Let the Doctor take you to school
A New Orleans musical history lesson that doesn't feel or sound like school at all. Actually, it sounds like a party in Dr. John's living room. Spirited piano and vocals in his inimitable style, and freewheeling arrangements of a number of Deep South R n' B standards - guaranteed fresh, hot, and steaming every time you stick it in the player. Plus, highly informative liner notes on each and every song by the good doctor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. John severs up the hot Gumbo!
Dr. John belts these tunes out with so much feeling! Didn't know too much about the Dr. before I bought Gumbo, but this disc is like a tour of New Orleans... "Iko Iko", "Big Chief", "Junko Partner", "Stack-A-Lee", "Tipitina"!!! Fantasitic piano playing that makes you think they had a blast just recording the album. In the liner notes the Dr. refers to "Gumbo" as blues and stomp music with a touch of dixieland jazz. Take a listen to "Blow Wind Blow" and his amazing cover of Fess' "Tipitina", and you'll see why that description pretty much sums it up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Guten Appetit
Der Herr Doktor ehrt hier seine Wurzeln. Professor Longhair und Huey Smith sind unverkennbar seine Meister. Und er wird ihnen mehr als gerecht, indem er ihre Stücke spielt, wie sie selbst es nicht gekonnt hätten. Er ist einfach ein Held des Arrangements. Die Bläser und Drummer grüßen direkt von der Bourbon Street und das Klavier aus der Preservation Hall. Und „Iko Iko" war niemals spannender als hier. Mick Jagger und Keith Richards hätten sich mal „Let The Good Times Roll" anhören sollen. Wirklich schöne CD, nur stört mich manchmal, dass das ganze sich etwas zu massiv anfühlt. Aber das musste Anfang der 70er wohl so sein.

5-0 out of 5 stars A signature LP from one of New Orleans greatest
An excellent sounding reissue of Dr. John's 1972 albumful of New Orleans R 'n' B. Mostly featuring his interpretations of classics and hit singles ("Iko Iko" "Mess Around" "Junko Partner" "Stack-A-Lee" "Tipitina", and a medley of Huey 'Piano' Smith tracks), with one original ("Somebody Changed the Clock"), and a great slow blues track called "Let the Good Times Roll" (but not the same song as was a hit single for Shirley and Lee... even though Shirley does, coincidentally, sing backing vocals on the LP).

Great piano playing from Dr. John, along with his growly vocals. Excellent support from a bunch of his New Orleans friends who all found themselves in Los Angeles (where this was recorded) in late '71. Great percussion and horns. The mix of r 'n' b, jazz, blues and traditional New Orleans styles is irresistible. ... Read more


72. Come On In
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000008UMZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5954
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Now, here's what you call a break from tradition. After bridging the gap between punk and blues on his collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside ventures into the world of beats and grooves with Come On In, a series of remix projects with producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters). The cynics among you may smell opportunism, but Rothrock is sensitive and respectful enough to Burnside's originals to do them proper justice. Even the 4/4 high hat and filtered sound effects of "Rollin' Tumblin'" sound appropriate to the music at hand. Though these treatments--largely instrumental--erase the most of the presence of Burnside's searing vocals, Burnside and Rothrock's adventurousness will win over most to their progressive-thinkin' boogie chillun'. --Justin Hampton ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock On Old Timer!
This CD blew my socks off the first time I heard it. Especially the third track Let My Baby Ride. We can only wish that more people will get the chance to hear the rocking blues of R.L. Burnside. Just think he is probably old enough to be your Grandfather and he just might take credit for it too! You must buy this CD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Burnside had the guts to shake up the blues: awesome.
Mr. Burnside decided to shake some of the cobwebs out of the blues genre, and probably p.o.'ed some purists in the process. If you can get through the loss of some of the purity of blues, this is one tremendous disc.

There are a few non-altered pieces on the disc, and the live version of the title song will stick in your head like flypaper, as will the next track, ``Let My Baby Ride'' with the man himself sampling his last name. The other outstanding track is the remixed version of ``Rollin' Tumblin' ''.

What confuses most people who like the blues is that the music isn't supposed to be so upbeat. But that's what makes this disc breathe - the fact that it goes against the grain. Burnside had the guts to take on not only his music, but an entire genre and twist and shape it into something foreign - and the results are wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Come on in!!
I just got done listening to this Cd and man oh man it's cool. I really didn't think that I would like it all that much, boy was I wrong. It is every bit as cool if not more than Wish I Was in Heaven Sittin' Down and evern harder edged> This is the kind of album you need to play really loud.

3-0 out of 5 stars Probably not for the blues purists, but...
...but for those of us who's eclectic tastes *include* the blues, there's a lot to like in this album. There are some sections of briliancy ("Let My Baby Ride" and "It's Bad You Know" both just rock), and some sections that were a little repetitious for me.
The North Mississippi All-Stars album Shake Hands with Shorty sounds like what you'd get if you gave an old R.L. record to a garage rock band. This album sounds like what you get when you give that same record to a techno DJ. There's a lot of sampled cuts looped together and layered under electric guitar and drums. Some vocals are re-mixed in as well.
Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for something different.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blues with a twist
Labels, labels. What do we label this album? Blues? Techno? Techno-blues? Labels like these are too narrow for me. This is good music. I love blues and I also love techno; but I wouldn't call this techno just because it makes good use of loops. It's blues with a twist. It's a great musician and his producer exploring their talents.

I have many friends who aren't big blues fans, but they're always asking me to play this album. The beats are very fun and make you want to just get up and dance. I think the best blues shows are the ones that really move your body, and this album does just that. If you're a blues fan with an open mind, or just a music fan with an open mind, you'll find this album in your CD player more often than not. ... Read more


73. Peace...Back By Popular Demand
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Asin: B0002RUPHE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1700
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Amazon.com

The velvety voiced Mo' shifts away from his usual matters of the heart to matters of the world on this disc of predominantly covers. He has also abandoned his bluesier roots in favor of a slicker, jazz-based pop. The result is a protest album for the double-latte crowd, most of whom can hum along to chestnuts from the Rascals ("People Got to be Free"), John Lennon ("Imagine"), and Bob Dylan ("The Times They Are A-Changin'"). While a jaunty banjo- and fiddle-flecked version of the Nick Lowe-penned "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" (popularized by Elvis Costello) uses a questionable rearrangement to convey the song's message, Mo' really connects when he raids the soul vaults for tunes by Marvin Gaye, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, and Donny Hathaway. It's a pleasant, subtle, and always professionally performed detour that's as comfy as a warm cup of hot chocolate on a chilly day. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more


74. Soul Shaker
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Asin: B0006ZIH8Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14282
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The title of this album tells you most of what you need to know about San Francisco blues rocker Tommy Castro. His first disc of original material in four years finds him back with the Blind Pig label and expanding his crackling R&B-drenched blues into a more rock-oriented sound. On Soul Shaker, Castro downplays the sizzling guitar that dominated his previous releases and focuses instead on songs and arrangements. The horns that pepper--and often power--tracks such as the frisky "What You Gonna Do Now?" push the soul element even further to the forefront. But it's Castro's gutsy, gritty vocals--something like a mix of Delbert McClinton and John Mellencamp--and his energetic approach that ignite these tunes.

Castro borrows Little Feat's New Orleans stomp for the swampy, slide-driven title track, shifts into Bob Seger territory on the thumping rocker "The Holdin' On," and even delivers a flute-powered song, "The Crossanova"--a lively instrumental cowritten by reed player Keith Crossan that wouldn't be out of place on an old Herbie Mann disc. "Take Me Off the Road" burns with ZZ Top hip-shakin' boogie. This may not be what established Castro fans expected, but by widening his scope and beefing up his sound the soul shaker has delivered his most satisfying and eclectic set in a decade-long career. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more

Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not His Best!
Whether you like this or not will largely depend upon what your expectations are from TC. For me, I like TC's blues music with a touch of soul, bordering on James Brown. My expectations were met with the Grammy award winning Right as Rain. But this is not it and for me the CD is merely all right. On this disc Castro leans towards the sixty's R&B music and the songs bring to mind the Temptations and the Supremes rather than Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker. Like Jonny Lang on his latest release, Castro tries to spread out to a broader group and, in my opinion, falls a little short. Castro is best seen live and maybe in that setting can do these songs some justice. Some times it is best just to stick to the formula and fan base that got you there. Castro is a little off the path.

4-0 out of 5 stars Could Have Been Really Hot
Tommy Castro has always sort of been Stevie Ray Vaughan in Robert Cray's clothing. I'm not sure that I agree with the idea of downplaying the sort of string bending ability that Tommy has. I'm not saying that Tommy should "shred" but the occasional hot solo would pushed this one to a five. Instead, we get a hot rock and soul record with TC acting like a hired gun instead of the deadly killer that he is. "Let's Give Love a Try", "Just Like Me" and "The Holdin' On" give this a likeable Delbert McClinton feel that pushes this record past 3 stars and on to 4.

1-0 out of 5 stars Should be Soul-less and Shake-less
This CD reminds me of the Robert Cray CD "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" where a good blues singer does an mediocre soul CD.But in this case a great blues guitarist and singer does an awful sell-out CD that mixes light rock with psuedo soul and strips out the searing electric blues guitar and roaring, crisp vocals that got them there.

It is great if you are on top of the world and can put out any music you like, but it is hard to believe anyone would like this watered down tripe...save your money for when Tommy comes to his senses and puts out a decent Blues CD, which he hasn't done since Gratitude, and that was not as good as his previous works...

The flute song is the only redeeming song on here, and while interesting it is not enough to make you want this CD.

Keith S. :{)>

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but not the best
I did enjoy the cd but it is not his best. I found this cd a bit to over produced and sounded a bit "canned"

I am sure he is still the best live and I will just love all these songs after I see him in concert.

Right as Rain and Exception to the Rule still ROCK and are must haves.

Come on Blind Pig throw the whole band in the studio push record and let the magic happen.

5-0 out of 5 stars SOUL SHAKIN' down the house in NYC
Call me spoiled, sittin' here in Gotham with 18,000+ restaurants and most the world's great venues...we expect a lot.

The other night Tommy Castro hit town and brought down the house at B. B. King's in Times Square.Music's a funny thing. Sometimes, like Chinese food, it's not as much the product as it is the quality of delivery.Castro set about assuming command of Times Square with a stirring delivery of a GREAT product!

By the time he's in "Wake Up Call" it's obvious this is not just any night at B. B. Kings.I figured that having seen Eric Clapton raise the live performance bar at MSG that I'd seen it all, I was wrong.

No sooner does Castro have total control of the crowd that he throws a change up with Anytime Soon and follows up by a foot tapping The Crossanova.Get there tunes in your head and your "Catro-ized".

I'm back to Kings tonight for another dose and perfectly cognizant that I'm gonna tough to impress again for a bit.

Bonus points to Castro for taking time, as the King's staff tried to root folks out for the next show, for taking lots of time to visit with a throng of fans following the show.Seeing a "walk on glass to get to" performance in NYC and hearing the words "thank you" afterward speaks volumes.

Great music, nice guy, knocks your socks off delivery...the bar's been raised again.

Courtney Canfield
New York City
... Read more


75. The Anthology: 1947-1972
list price: $29.98
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Asin: B00005NHLY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2776
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Muddy Waters should need no introduction. Not only did he provide a name for the world's greatest rock & roll band, but he also created the Chicago electric blues sound that's dominated the genre since he first hit the windy city in the late 1940s. His bands also featured what would become a who's who of electric blues: Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, James Cotton, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and the list goes on. The Anthology covers Waters's most important period: his first years at Chess through the late 1960s. All his best-known songs are featured in their definitive versions, providing the perfect introduction to a blues master who doesn't need one. --Mike Johnson ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential and Influential
This is a new 2 cd anthology which covers Muddy Waters aka McKinley Morganfield's Aristocrat and Chess material from 1947-72. There have been a number of Muddy Waters compilations in the past few years. This set is better buy than the "His Best Vols 1 & 2" compilations. This set contains 50 songs as opposed to 40 on the "His Best" compilations. This anthology contains less material than the Muddy Waters 3 cd box set but the tapes have been remastered for better sound since the box set was released. However, this anthologys fails to include 2 songs from the "His Best" compilations which are among my favorites "She's Into Something" and "You Need Love". The latter song provided the inspiration for Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love". A drawback to this set is there are a few "rarities" which I would have deleted in favor of the aformentioned songs and other favorites like "Blow Wind Blow" (covered by Eric Clapton), "Tell Me Baby" (covered by the Rolling Stones), "I Got A Brand On You" (covered by Johnny Winter), and "Tiger In Your Tank". In addition the second disk clocks in at around 71 minutes, so space was available for more songs. However, this is still an essential compilation.

The music is electric Chicago Blues at its finest. Among the sidemen who appear are Little Walter, Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, Jimmy Rogers, Mike Bloomfield, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy and many others. This music has influenced the previously mentioned artists as well as such people as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Canned Heat, Rory Gallagher, The Allman Brothers Band, Savoy Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. Blues classics such as "Mannish Boy" "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man", "Got My Mojo Working", "Trouble No More" and others have become staples of both blues and blues/rock performers. Other well known cuts include "Honey Bee" (covered by Stevie Ray Vaughn), "I'm Ready" (covered by Humble Pie), "You Shook Me" (covered by Led Zeppelin), "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (covered by Foghat), "The Same Thing" (covered by the Allman Brothers Band), and "Still A Fool", "I Want To Be Loved" and "Look What You've Done" (all covered by the Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones even named themselves after one of Muddy Water's songs "Rollin' Stone" included here. This just scratches the surface of the influence Muddy Waters and his music had on musicians and blues fans alike. If you want a good overview of the Chess years this is an essential compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Muddy's best
This is a comprehensive two disc set of the man who defined Chicago blues. Muddy Waters started out in the Delta working as a guitar playing farm hand but moved to Chicago in the 40's, where he took his delta styled playing and plugged in to make a new music that was loud, raucous, and yet retained the subtleties of the Delta. His powerful voice and his slippery slide-guitar influenced the rock and roll generation of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, who took both their name and their hit "Satisfaction" from Muddy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Whooooeeeee! I finally got this great CD compilation!
I've been dropping hints for about two months to my wife that I wanted this 2 CD set for Christmas. I'll drop the cash for a silly PlayStation 2 game for my son, but I won't spend even half of that to buy this CD for me. Well, my wife was listening because I got it for Christmas and I've been playing it non-stop for two days! The two CDs do a great job of following Muddy's ascent from acoustic guitar backed by bass in the late '40s and early '50s to his electrification that helped shape what we now know as Chicago Blues. All of the tracks are taken from the Chess/MCA recordings, and anything he recorded from '72 until his death 11 years later is missing. But that's OK, I've got most of those CDs anyway... This compilation is put together chronologically and, for once, it's put together with some intelligence. There's not an ounce of filler on either CD, and they use up the available time a CD provides -- CD 1 has 26 tracks and CD 2 boasts 24. CD 1 is great layin' in bed and drifting off to sleep music. CD 2 is great slip-in-my-truck-CD-player material and got me to work in a GREAT mood this morning! I highly recommend this for anyone who doesn't know Muddy's music, or who wants some quality audio -- no muffled sound, peaks and dips, just consistent, high-quality folk/blues and down dirty boogie blues that made McKinley Morganfield the definitive King of the Blues (sorry, B.B., I love ya, but Muddy is the Man!).

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb collection
The handsomely packaged three-disc Chess Box remains the ultimate Muddy Waters-collection, but this amazingly low-priced double-disc anthology is not far behind.

It manages to collect almost all of Waters' best songs, from his early acoustic sides with just bassist Ernest 'Big' Crawford for company, to his hard-rocking 50s and 60s cuts, including literally all the must-have classics:
"Got My Mojo Working" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" are here, as well as "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had", "I Love The Life I Live", "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "I Want To Be Loved", "Honey Bee", "I'm Ready" and "I Can't Be Satisfied".

You can't go wrong with this sublime, well annotated collection of Waters' tough, swaggering blues. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any blues lover
This 2-disk compilation is, very likely, the best blues that you will ever hear. I've been collecting blues CD's for many years, and am kicking myself for waiting this long to get something from Muddy Waters.

The other reviews here are excellent, and I am grateful to Steve and Jef for steering me in the right direction, by suggesting that I get this particular compilation. There are many Muddy compilations out there, and I have to say that this one is excellent. Every song is a gem, and I've been listening to it over and over since I got it. I was surprised at the number of songs that I recognized... most of us are Muddy Waters fans, and don't even know it.

If you love the blues, and particularly guitar blues, then you must get this CD. Believe what the other reviewers have said, this compilation is THAT good. ... Read more


76. Best of the Parlophone Years
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0007VXZKE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3555
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77. Standing Room Only
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0006J2FGW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3535
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

They joined the Alligator Records family with THAT'S RIGHT! in 2003. The CD received massive amounts of praise and received yet another Grammy© nomination. Now they’re back with STANDING ROOM ONLY an utterly hip-shaking set of songs highlighting the vocal and instrumental power of the band.

Remaining together for so long is not simply a matter of survival, but rather a testament to Roomful of Blues' commitment to its originality and its ability to evolve. Over the years, Roomful's lineup has changed but the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. With vocalist/harpist Mark DuFresne, bassist Brad Hallen, drummer Jason Corbiere, keyboardist (and newest member of the group) Travis Colby, baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley along with long-time members tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille (the longest-standing member of the group) and trumpeter Bob Enos, STANDING ROOM ONLY swings with ferocity and rocks with urgency and purpose. Moving effortlessly from eight originals to six carefully chosen covers, the expertly executed songs sizzle from start to finish.

STANDING ROOM ONLY is a knockout punch from a group of blues heavyweights, full of big band swing, razor-sharp blues and sweaty R&B workouts. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Just keeps on rockin'
The first thing I noticed was that these guys are having fun on this record. The band is tight as a guitar string.The horns wail, the vocals are whiskey smooth, not a mis-step in the song selection. I saw Marcia Ball recently, and it was a PAR-TAY, so maybe it is "sumfin'in da watah down der", but this was as much fun as blues record gets.All songs are good, most are way above average.The novelty of "Flip Flop Jack" and whistling sing-song intro on "Nobody Knows" made it a blast to listen to listen right down to the last chord...With nods to 1940's jump-swing, 50's style steet corner crooning (Sufferin with the Blues), plus a modern production, made for a throughly solid listen.Next road trip or pary I throw, I'll know where to start, and just keep on rockin'.

4-0 out of 5 stars Roomful Still Delivers the Goods
How many times have you been disappointed when a blues band shows up to a gig as a three piece when all of its discs feature horns and keyboards on nearly every track? Roomful of Blues fans never experience a let down since the band includes as members the two saxophones, trumpet, keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and harmonica heard on its discs. What you hear on disc is what you get live and, in this case, fans should be salivating in anticipation of the band's next appearance. Simply put, the band has rarely sounded better. Starting things off with the fast paced, horn laden "She Put A Spell On Me", the band works its way through 14 cuts that allow the band to flex its instrumental muscles in a variety of settings."I Can't Stand You No More" has a slinky, guitar driven mambo groove that is unlike anything the band has recorded before. "Boomerang" is a rockin,' dance floor filling number for the rock and roll dancers while "Just Keep Rockin'" , "Jona Lee", "Flip Flap Jack" and "Up Jumped the Devil" will give the swing dancers a work out. While the band has proved over and over that it is the gold standard for upbeat numbers it makes a strong case here for its ability to play the kind of slow, emotional blues that areBobby "Blue" Bland's stock in trade. On "Sufferin' With The Blues" lead vocalist Mark DuFresne conveys a deep, desperate pain that conjures up images of someone ending the night alone crying in bad scotch wondering if it is worth it to make it to tomorrow. The band's instrumental prowess is showcased on"Straight Jaquette"which features the dueling saxophones of Mark Earley and Rich Latille and allows trumpeter Bob Enos to take a couple of flights into the stratosphere. A pleasant curve ball is thrown into the mix on the easy loping groove of Nobody Knows which features guitarist Chris Vachon serving up croaking vocals reminiscent of Tom Waits. As with past discs, theband features covers by jump blues kings like Roy Brown but this time extends into soul blues penned by Little Milton and Lowell Fulson and a number of self-penned tunes (Vachon logs in with four while Latille, Earley, DuFresne and keyboard ace Travis Colby contribute one each) that fit seamlessly with those of the masters that they have covered. After more than three decades in the business, Roomful of Blues continues to deliver the goods both live and on disc. ... Read more


78. Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection
list price: $69.98
our price: $62.99
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Asin: B00000343O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 653
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

If anyone deserves his own section in record stores, it's Ray Charles. Witness this Charles box set, a full five-disc career retrospective that follows smaller packages concentrating on his early R&B (The Birth of Soul) and Blues + Jazz work. In addition to those styles, we get Ray's stabs at Nat "King" Cole/Charles Brown urban blues ("Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand"), handfuls of country songs ("I Can't Stop Loving You"), definitive readings of the American songbook ("Georgia on My Mind," "Come Rain or Come Shine"), and personal claims on the '60s soul he made possible ("I Don't Need No Doctor"). Whether you're a newcomer or a veteran Charles fan, this impeccably selected box is for you. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Immortality
Count me among the group of music fans who may have taken Ray Charles a little for granted when he was alive. I think I saw him as a timeless musical giant who seemed like he would always be around.

Mr. Charles' death earlier this year convinced me to listen to the two CDs of his that I owned and to go through the handful of anthologies I have that include the great singer's music -- an exercise that left me looking for more.

Enter this 50th Anniversary Collection, just about the most comprehensive compilation of Mr. Charles' work possible. The song list includes (almost) everything the singer ever recorded, from his awe-inspiring version of "Confession Blues" to the melodic "Georgia on my Mind" to the playful "Shake Your Tail Feather" from the Blue's Brother's movie.

I can only think of one song puzzlingly missing from this collection, but it's a biggie: Mr. Charles' immense version of Maceo Merryweather's "Some Day Baby". In my book, that's an omission significant enough to cost the collection a five-star rating, though not one serious enough to instead recommend the much less ambitious Genius Sings the Blues, the only CD I know of that has that song on it.

Many collections of this size sadly water down a collection by mixing the performer's best material with inferior music recorded simply to occupy the B side of 45 rpm singles or that was removed from the singer's song list before being completely refined. All 102 songs on this five-CD set are clearly not of equal quality, but the scope and the start-to-finish quality of this collection make it clear that Mr. Charles is among a small handful of artists for whom a collection like this is not overkill.

This is an essential addition to any music lovers' library, and one that assures that at least musically, Mr. Charles really will always be around.

5-0 out of 5 stars I started with this, and it remains the best!
Actually, I started with Ray Charles with Rhino's single disc called "Anthology". I've found it to be so good, that I decided to expand on his collection. So, I bought this box set, and then I even began to pick up more of Ray Charles albums on CD released by Rhino and/or Atlantic. At one time, I had about 14 Ray Charles CD's, and of course, many of his essential tracks were duplicated many times over. So, reality set in: I've got too many CD's of Ray Charles. Ray does have some dull moments. Even this box set tends to drift into some dull tunes on the fourth and fifth disc, but, it does pick up towards the end. He's got a few country duets that he released in the mid-eighties that are pretty good. And his version of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" is a pretty good comeback for Ray. Ray's got so many albums. I doubt they would ever, all, be released on CD. His best songs from his many albums are already available on this "Genius and Soul" box set. Rhino did a fabulous job at selecting key tracks. So, I started to just give away some of my Ray Charles CD's because the best thing I had, and probably, all I, or anyone else, ever needs, is just this one Box Set. His album, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western", is definately a keeper by itself. Even, "The Genius Hits the Road", has some pretty good non-hit selections. But, everything else that matters from Ray Charles is pretty much covered in this Box Set. I suggest you jump on it, who knows how long Rhino will be able to continue to release it.

5-0 out of 5 stars ALL MUSIC STYLES HERE
When You Hear Ray Charles's Music then You Know The Music Category thing is a SIck Joke.Cuz Brother Ray Covers all Bases.Whatever style you want he Gives it Ten Fold.This Multi-Set Highlights The Genius&Power of His Work.His Work Covers Alot Of Time.Unlike the Factory Product Artists of Today Brother Ray Took Real Time in His Craft&Presentation.RAY Charles is One Of The Fathers Of Music Before&Since as we Know it.His Work is TImeless.the next time somebody puts a Label on Something Musically tell them about RAy Charles He Covered Them all Very Well as this Must Have Set Shows.Very Essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unparalled collection of music.
Just like Sinatra's Reprise Years box set, this is a massive massive set of work. I guess that the only way to get more great Ray Charles music would be to collect everything he ever did. Until then, this is the very next thing (and it sure is fine!).

Ray made musical history, and he did so over an incredible period of time. Few musicians do not credit his influence, be they country, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, or even rap. This collection spans much of that time -- more that forty years worth. It starts with some old classics, like "Nighttime is the Right Time" and the even funkier "Let the Good Times Roll", and then moves to the gentle hit "That Lucky Old Sun". The collection then takes us to several of his classics from the seminal work 'Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music', like "Take These Chains From My Heart", "I Can't Stop Loving You" and the tragic, magic "Born To Lose". Ray's more recent work is also well represented, like his version of "America The Beautiful", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and Stevie Wonder's classic "Livin for the City".

Perhaps my favorite cut of all the discs however, was his collaboration with Willie Nelson, "Seven Spanish Angels". I had never heard this song before, and together, they made one very special piece of music. Willie's plaintive wail was masterfully interwoven with Brother Ray's soulful depths and together they created something to positively revere.

If you have some Ray Charles, this is worth adding, because it will certainly have something new to try. If you have none of Ray's work, this is a wonderful way to get caught up in one single purchase. If you have never heard him, you are probably deaf, and that would be the only way this would not be a worthwhile purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
I have bought many things from Amazon and this is the first review I have written. Why am I writing this? Because this collection of music blows my mind. I have been a Ray fan for a few years and this is the most definitive collection I have seen. BUY IT! ... Read more


79. East-West
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
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Asin: B000002GZ3
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5622
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds.--Steve Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars This album (circa 1966) sounds as if was recorded yesterday
I first listened to this album in 1972 -- six years after it was first recorded. It was my first introduction to the Chicago blues (although, at the time, I would not have known the difference between the Memphis Blues, the Chicago Blues and the color blue). Predictably, given the times, I was most impressed by "East West," which had a kind of psychdelic tinge to it.

Since then, I have listened to a lot of blues -- B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson -- and, although I do pretend to have any expertise, I began to appreciate the blues. In any event, I completely forgot about the Butterfield Blues Band.

Then, recently, while browsing through the used CD stacks at my local music store, I happened upon the album and, recalling it fondly, purchased it for $5.95.

The album still sounds as fresh and as innovative as the first time I heard it more than a quarter-century ago. Although I still like "East West," now (at age 45) I am more impressed with "Work Song," "I got a Mind to Give Up Living" and "Never Say No." Mike Bloomfield truly is the foremost white blues guitarist of all times. And, although Paul Butterfield may lack the virtuosity of John Popper of Blues Traveller, he has more soul.

3-0 out of 5 stars Butter is the greatest, but this album is his weakest
The Butterfield Blues Band is my favorite group of all time. I've listened and learned from Paul and co. since 1966 with the release of their first album, which in my opinion, is one of the top five albums ever recorded in the history of man. However, the second album, East-West, left a lot to be desired. It's simply a matter of taste. I don't care for prolonged solos, which was prevalent in the 60's and early 70's. Work Song and East West are claimed by many to be groundbreaking--I thought they were poor. I appreciate the fact that the band was experimenting, but I hated the experiment. In fact, most of the other songs are average (by Butterfield's standards). Get out of my Life, Woman/ Mary, Mary/ Walkin' Blues/Never Say No are some of Butterfield's more unremarkable songs. The one exception is 'Ive Got a Mind to Give Up Livin' which is flawless. As I said earlier, Butterfield is in a class by himself--and even his weaker work is wonderful. But if I were to introduce someone to Paul's music, I wouldn't use the East-West album. Much better choices would be 1) Paul Butterfield's Blues Band (1st album), 2) The Lost Sessions, 3) Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw,4) Anthology, or 5) Paul Butterfield-Live.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Morphing of Electric Blues Into Psychedelic Rock
The psychedelic rock revolution of the late 1960s had several sources, but probably the most important was electric blues music. A lot of young white rock musicians of that era cut their musical teeth on covers of traditional African American blues
songs, finding in that material a liberating emotional authenticity as well as a simple yet flexible 12-bar, 3-chord improvisational format. Gradually, electric blues morphed into psychedelic hard rock. East West was one of THE seminal albums that led and marked this transition.

The Butterfield Blues Band started out as a straight-ahead Chicago electric blues ensemble. If you're a blues purist, you will prefer their first album. But on East West, the band has clearly come under the influence of, ahem, mind-expanding substances. There are several traditional electric blues numbers here, but there are also several tracks that stretch the boundaries of the blues genre.

The band was remarkable for the work of two great soloists. Paul Butterfield was an outstanding harmonica player (as well as a decent vocalist), and Michael Bloomfield was an awesome guitarist. On this album, both get a chance to display soulful originality as well as technical chops. Unlike a lot of 1960s blues rock musicians, Butterfield and Bloomfield still sound fresh and unique today. In particular, Bloomfield's solos on "I've Got A Mind to Give Up Living", "Work Song", and "East West" have a modal quality totally unlike any of the other blues rock guitar gods of his era. The contrast between Bloomfield's complex droning runs and second guitarist Elvin Bishop's more traditonal lick-based solos are stunning.

Paradoxically, the most revolutionary song on this album--the extended Indian raga-like instrumental jam "East West"--is perhaps the most dated cut. But if you can somehow remember what the musical context was way back in 1966, you will appreciate this album for what it is--a brilliant precursor to the psychedelic blues rock sound that would emerge as the dominant rock music of the late 1960s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Instrumental Masterpieces of the late 60's
There were only a few. Jeff Beck on Rice Pudding. Apricot Brandy by the Rhinoceros. In Memory of Elizabeth Reid by the Allman Brothers. Samba Pa Ti by Santana. And East West by the Butterfield Blues Band was the best.
And of course Booker T. & the MG's. And King Curtis. But the rock tracks were always special because there were so few.
If you don't know this track, I envy you because you have it to look forward to hearing for the first time.

5-0 out of 5 stars East-West is a guitar Mecca
By now it seems like everything in music has been tried and done - or overdone - and most of it badly. But back in 1966 when this album debuted, it was nothing less than astonishing. A mixed-race band? A white guy singing blues like nobody's business? A Jewish kid and a southern farmboy sounding like Robert Johnson on guitars? None of us had heard anything quite like it and it gave me, a 15-year-old rock&roll wannabee guitar player, something to focus on.

Right out of the chute, this is a strong album. Opening with "Walking Blues", the BBB struts their stuff with strong vocals, soulful harmonica, and wicked guitar. "I've Got a Mind to Give up Living" was most people's first taste of what Michael Bloomfield could do - simply a stunning blues solo to cap off a great twelve-bar blues.

The album highlight, in my opinion, is their rendition of "The Work Song". Always a great jam song, they carried it to new heights. Bloomfield plays a dizzying guitar solo for 4 verses; Butterfield smokes 2 verses on his harp; Mark Naftalin follows with an understated organ solo; Elvin Bishop gets down & dirty for 4 verses. Then it really gets good; trading off every 2 bars, the musicians rotate for a few verses, each time upping the ante on each other as the song intensifies before resolving into a final melody verse. Whatta song!!!

Noteworthy on side 2 is Elvin Bishop's singing and playing on the sultry "Never Say No". Who knew he could sing?

Finally, the album culminates with the title song "East-West", one of those 60's long-songs which were oftentimes wretched excess, but this one keeps your interest. For 5 minutes or so, guitar and harmonica imitate an Indian raga in a slowly building crescendo. Sudden break, and the music becomes western, muted, and diatonic scale until once again transitioning to the final east-west blend. Hard to describe -- by the CD and hear it yourself.

While "East West" wasn't on the top-10 decade list for sales, it represented a watershed for pop music -- more maturity, better musicianship, more exploration, more successful blending of other genres.

If you're a blues fan, an Alan Lomax enthusiast, or a student of the 60s progression, this album is a must. Enjoy. ... Read more


80. It Serves You Right to Suffer
list price: $6.98
our price: $6.98
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Asin: B00000JNNV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13977
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Originally released on Impulse in 1966, It Serves You Right to Suffer may not contain John Lee Hooker's better-known material, but it does serve up eight tracks of topnotch blues, complete with the boogie groove that Hooker does so well. The digital remastering for this CD is a blessing; the recording sounds almost as clean as one made today. That prevents the listener from being distracted from this album's many delights: the uptempo, low-key "Shake It Baby"; the relaxed but rhythmically tight "Country Boy"; the danceable "Bottle Up & Go"; and the slow, sexy shuffle of "Sugar Mama." Especially worth hearing, however, is the title track, which strikes a perfect tension between musicality and mood. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best studio Hooker album
This cd is usually found in the cut out bins where it does not belong, this cd smokes anything he has done in the last ten years with all of the multi contributing artist to his 90's work. This cd recorded in 1965 is better than anything Clapton,Page or Stevie Ray ever dreamed of. If you want to find any blues close to this caliber, you are going to have go and buy T Bone Walker's Stormy Monday (live) from 1971 with Paul Pena on guitar or som John Hammond. The only other artist that is alive and writes such brooding blues inflected tunes is Tom Waits.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best blues records you will ever hear- I think
John is great by himself or with a band. This is the perfect example of him with a band. Some of the greatest backing musicians who in no way intrude but only compliment Hooker's style of either driving rythms or slow dinning hypnotizing slow blues. Hooker does only 8 songs at about 32 minutes but all classics. This isn't like when hooker teams up with rockers who maybe were great at what they did but didn't do what Hooker himself did. This is a few musicians who understand Hooker's work and play off him and with him, rather than over him. Shake it baby is Rockin' Blues like Hooker could always do without losing the straight blues soul. Country boy is long story tellin' blues and Bottle up and go is as said in the liner notes- Delta Dance music. You're wrong is pure Hooker style- Rythmic Blues, not Rythm and Blues- Blues with lots of solid rythm. THere is a difference. Sugar Mama, A classic because it takes the old theme that hooker arranged new so long before that and changed it around. Instead of praising the sugar sweet woman- He tells her the praise has gone to her head and he's got a new sugar mama, that's John Lee. Decoration day is one of those blues that rolls around slow on the same chord until it almost drives you crazy. It is an old blues song that is one of the most dark and sad traditional songs. About a woman who tells her man before she dies, to decorate her grave on every Memorial or Decoration day. I think that is basically it anyway. Then a solid Take on Berry Gordy's Money which several bluesmen seem to like and perform. Hooker does it with the same group plus old friend and trombone player for the Basie Band -Dicky Wells doing a just right accompaniment. Then it serves you right to suffer in the same way as Decoration day, is some advice to forget about the past. All in all it is the best example of John with a band backing him. Perfect record I think. In everything he does I think he is one of the most believable bluesmen. He means it when he says it and he's there when he sings it and plays it. I have played this record straight through more than most any other blues record I have.

5-0 out of 5 stars "and one more, and one more, and one more"
For any Blues fan John Lee Hooker is an all too familiar name and this reissue disc shows any who would question his Legend status why he holds the title. Every song is superb, classic Hooker. You'll find yourself playing the album straight through again and again. The best songs here are "Shake It Baby", "Country Boy", "You're Wrong" and the title track "It Serves You Right To Suffer".

A must have album for Blues fans new or old.

5-0 out of 5 stars LESSER KNOWN HOOKER
THIS CD IS A REISSUE OF MATERIAL FIRST RECORDED BY JOHN LEE HOOKER IN NOVEMBER OF 1965 AND SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASED IN 1966. WHILE THE SONGS ON THIS DISC ARE NOT AS WELL KNOWN AS HOOKER'S "BOOGIE CHILLEN", THEY ARE EVERY BIT AS GOOD. IF YOU ARE A FAN OF JOHN LEE HOOKER THEN THIS CD BELONGS IN YOUR COLLECTION. WHILE YOU ARE AT IT, CHECK OUT THE COLLABORATION OF JOHN LEE HOOKER AND JAZZ MASTER MILES DAVIS ON THE SOUNDTRACK CD "THE HOT SPOT". IT IS ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL AND A MUST HEAR FOR ANY FAN OF THE BLUES AND LATE NIGHT SENSUOUS JAZZ.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Hooker is a force to be reckoned with.
If you don't already have this album, then you've got all the sense of a salted tree sloth. ... Read more


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