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81. Louisiana Gumbo
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82. Blues on the Bayou
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83. The Four Aces' Greatest Hits
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84. Best Of Louisiana Cajun Classics
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85. In Your Arms Again
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86. Welcome
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87. Deluxe Edition
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88. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica
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89. His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary
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90. Complete Collection
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91. The Very Best of Albert King
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92. Sweet Tea
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93. Things We Do
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94. Girls Go Wild
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95. Alone & Acoustic
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96. Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974
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97. SRV
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98. Showdown
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99. Blues at Sunrise
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100. Soul to Soul

81. Louisiana Gumbo
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Asin: B00003OP1Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 39083
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Labels run the inherent risk of trivializing or marginalizing a region's music when they attempt to create a compilation. And yet Putumayo, which has made a musical-lifestyle name for itself by producing a bundle of these types of collections, does itself mighty proud with Louisiana Gumbo. Drawing from various statewide sources and time periods, Gumbo celebrates rather than appropriates. Merging blues, jazz, Cajun, and Creole influences along with country-inflected rock, R&B, and piano in the styles of boogie-woogie and fast-pumping Ferriday chording, this group of selections is a magnificent representation of some of Louisiana's smartest and tastiest offerings. From zydeco king Clifton Chenier to ivory tickler James Booker and Tipitina regulars the Neville Brothers, Gumbo is served up dirty, dark, and delicious. Husband-wife duo Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon rear back to holler and hammer through "Door Poppin'," Eddie Bo puts bad-ass funk and swing to "Piano Roll," and Johnny Adams's "It Ain't the Same Thing" is as fine as swamp-rompin' R&B gets. --Paige La Grone ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a 'sleeper' !
I don't remember buying this CD, but I certainly remember the first time I played it. It is a fantastic collection of Louisiana Blues and Zydeco. Particularly like 'Festis', but really all of it is good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific
This is a wonderful collection of blues, soul and R&B and zydeco from New Orleans and the bayous of Louisiana. And a great introduction to lesser known artists who really deserve to be heard, like Charles Sheffield. But of course there are also the well known artists, such as the Neville Brothers and Clifton Chenier. This album is guaranteed to get your feet tapping. The 24 page booklet includes an essay about Louisiana and it's music, and a page devoted to each song and it's artist, and photos.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets....
Hot & Spicy, Tasty & Fulfilling.....just what gumbo is supposed to be! First heard in a little local boutique, I was shakin my shimmie from the first song on and just HAD to buy it! Makes me wish I were strollin down d'bayou or scoffing up some of Tipatina's finest right now. I've bought several copies to give as gifts (some weren't all that excited until they gave it a listen; now those people are turning others onto it). I've given a couple other zy CD's a try but like the man says, "It ain't the same thang".......buy it and enjoy the Big Easy in your own easy chair.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy for Gumbo
I heard this CD in a gift shop in Lewes, DE, and found myself dancing in the aisles. It is as much blues as what you might think of as traditional cajun-style music. It reminded my friend and me of Etta James, but with assorted artists and great blues stylings. I can't wait to have my hands on my own copy! ... Read more


82. Blues on the Bayou
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Asin: B00000DF6O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4650
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 1998

Opting for simplicity this time around, B.B. King gets by with a little help from his excellent backing band, producing an album that's evocative of the Louisiana countryside where it was recorded. After over half a century in the business, King knows what he's about: he makes playing good blues sound easy, and every track on Blues on the Bayou is a treat. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Clearly & Unequivocally, this is by far B's best-to-date"
I will never forget the evening of November 7, 1998, as I left the Palace Theater in Columbus, Ohio...I had the best front row seat of my life, which placed me just five (5) feet away from the "KING" as he and his band emotionally played all the cuts from "Blues on the Bayou". Let me say this, I have seen "B" play many times, but his current band is the "tightest" group i've ever witnessed and it left me mesmerized that evening. Therefore, I highly recommend his latest,"Blues on the Bayou" -- the recording by MCA records is of the highest quality possible, and so are the tunes! If you do not currently own any of B's Albums and you buy this one, rest assured, you now own his best, period!

Sincerely, Gary L. Foley, Columbus, Ohio

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit too slick and unvaried
Recorded in four days with his regular road band, "Blues On The Bayou" includes no duets, no guest stars, and no unintentionally funny cover versions of pop songs. Just fourteen B.B. King originals, a version of T-Bone Walker's "Mean Old World" which King shamelessly credits to himself, and a loose and relaxed approach.

B.B. King produced this album himself, for the first time in his 50-year career, and the result is pretty good, although "Blues On The Bayou" is somewhat slicker and more polished than I would have liked (but then again, King never aspired to be Muddy Waters).

Among the best songs are the slow, soulful "I'll Survive" (definitely NOT the Gloria Gaynor single, but rather a discreet rip-off of Tampa Red's classic "It Hurts Me Too"), the swinging "Shake It Up And Go" (which is actually a slightly altered take on "Bottle Up And Go"), the funky instrumental "If That Ain't It I Quit", and the slightly jazzy "Good Man Gone Bad", which features some excellent piano playing by keyboardist James Toney.

I would certainly have preferred a bit more grit and a little less of the very synthetic sounding organ and the equally synthetic string orchestra, and the many slow songs all sound more or less alike, but that's contemporary blues for you, I suppose.

If your idea of what electric blues should sound like is Howlin' Wolf and Elmore James, stay FAR away from this album.
But if you prefer your blues from the decanter rather than the bottle, you'll probably like it just fine.

3-0 out of 5 stars Louisiana Loungin'
At the time of this recording, BB King was 73 years old. He and his road-tested band cut these tunes in Lafayette, LA. Overall, "Blues on the Bayou" is as pleasant as an ice-cold Jax on a lazy summer day. This is a good, accessible CD to expose novices to the blues. But it is a little too refined. One reviewer aptly describes "Blues on the Bayou" as blues from the decanter, not the bottle. True - this ain't RL Burnside or Howlin' Wolf. But it is light years better (and more sincere) than anything that poser Slowhand has done since Cream disbanded. Plus, how can you not like the grandfatherly BB? If only I am half as cool as The King when I'm 73.

5-0 out of 5 stars BB'S THE BOSS!
This is the greatest blues album ever! Mastered by the greatest blues performer ever, BB King. This album has such an easy feel to it. The band is so together and BB, well, what can you say about the man, the performer, the singer, the guitar player. Words can't describe him. He's a national treasure and proves it on this disc and so many others he's cut over his great career. It always makes me upset when they give the title of "superstar" to some of these no talent bums who permeate today's music industry. BB truly is a superstar and proves it every time he plugs in Lucille and open's his mike with that wonderful, powerful, soulful voice. Long live the King!

5-0 out of 5 stars He is the greastest (B,B King)
While reviewing B B Kings music Muddy Water. My elderly relative was so delighted to here some music she used to listen to in her younger years. Cousin Hazel, replied to me that she used to be one of his fans. His music put a bright light on her face. Being Handicapped and not able to see. While listening to his greastest hits you really could not tell the different. BB Kings, live forever in one of his 76 year old fan.

Best At Being A King B,B, KING
from your fan
Nancy ... Read more


83. The Four Aces' Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000002OPJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12701
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Sound Of The Time
Samuel Johnson wrote "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test." The reviewer who gave this CD only one star must be a real martyr.

All I can say is, if The Four Aces are as bad as he describes them, then there must have been a worldwide epidemic of tin-ears among the millions upon millions who bought their records, and listened to their songs on radio, to the point where they chalked up 36 Top 100 hits from 1951 to 1959.

You also have to think that the reviewer must have a personal grudge against Peter Grendysa, who wrote some of the most comprehensive liner notes [seven pages of them] you'll ever find in a single-disc CD package. Add to that several nice photographs - one with the luscious Mamie Van Doren - and a complete discography of the contents, and you have a nice, neat package which gives you sixteen of those hits, along with two flip-sides [You Brought Me Love which backed Perfidia in 1952, and I Understand which was the B-side of I'm Yours that same year].

Another nine of their 36 hit singles can be found on More Greatest Hits. If I have a gripe it's from the perspective of a completist collector of hits. Neither this CD nor More Greatest Hits contains Two Little Kisses, one of two releases by the Palda Record Company [on their Flash label] which made it to # 29 in 1952, the other being Sin which was their first hit [# 4] in 1951 on Palda's Victoria label.

If you know and loved The Four Aces you won't be turned away by the negativity in that other review. If you don't know them, this is one of the best examples of old-time,street-corner harmony you're apt to hear. But it. Enjoy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nostalgic look at a more innocent time.................
Every once in a while I like to experiment with different kinds of music, and after hearing an instrumental version of the song, "Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing", I decided to check out the Four Aces' vocal version. And I'm glad I did. I've heard most of these tracks before either as instrumentals or covered by other singing groups. Even so, the songs found on this CD are the definitive takes. My own highlights include: "Tell Me Why", "Perfidia", "Three Coins In The Fountain", "Stranger In Paradise", "Mr. Sandman", and of course, "Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing". In fact, there's not a bad song on this CD. Each track is beautifully arranged and sung to near perfection. I guess you can't ask for more than that. Don't be put off by the fact some of these tracks were recorded in the early 1950s (this is pre-rock n' roll folks!). I was born in the 70s, and my taste in music covers a wide spectrum - from rock n' roll of the 50s right up to today's nu-metal. But I also love good music, and this is all you'll find on this CD. Recommended.

Jon.

4-0 out of 5 stars No Sheets
What ever happened to the song "Three Sheets to the Wind" ?
It was a hit around 1959.
It's probably the hardest song that they recorded to find anyhere

1-0 out of 5 stars Four-go this painfully ace-erbic collection.
Being a fan of 1950s pop, especially the vocal-group variety, I expected to like this collection. The Four Aces, after all, are one of the big names from the period, and there were any number of superb white quartets who recorded at the same time--The Crew Cuts, The Diamonds, The Four Lads, etc. But this material is terrible. The group is nearly unable to harmonize, and the four singers often sound like a barely-in-key duet with a third (and, every once in a while, a fourth) voice peeking in. Al Albert's lead vocals are frequently off-key and consistently overwrought. And the earliest "arrangements" have less body than something one might hear on an inexpensive synthesizer's songbank. The reissued sound is great, and a few of the numbers are enjoyably bouncy, but I wish I'd saved my money. I can forgive good singers nearly anything, but these guys were anything but. Four-go this painfully ace-erbic collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superbly harmonized and very well recorded.
The Four Aces' Greatest Hits is a handsomely packaged collection of their music that is
superbly harmonized and very well recorded .
'Tell Me Why' and, 'The Gang That Sang "Heart of My Heart"' are two of my favorite songs of the early 1950's. ... Read more


84. Best Of Louisiana Cajun Classics : Cajun & Zydeco's Greatest Artists
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Asin: B000005XDU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11964
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85. In Your Arms Again
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Asin: B0006ZXJHA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9245
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The veteran singer/guitarist returns to his roots with a stripped-down trio following the textural experiments of 2003's David Hidalgo-produced Ready for Love and his heralded 2001 collection of Tom Waits songs, Wicked Grin. Every choked note and moaning phrase of his voice rings with total commitment to numbers made famous by Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, andBob Dylan, including a version of Wolf's "Evil" that gets extra menace from Stephen Hodges's thunderous, impulsive drumming. That's how it should be. For the last 42 years, Hammond's made his career as an energetic interpreter of songs rather than as a writer. Nevertheless, the tunes he penned for this set--the title cut and "Come to Find Out"--fit comfortably among the classics. They explore love and lamentation in acoustic settings using Hammond's voice, guitar, and harmonica; MartyBallou's upright bass; and Hodges's rim-slapped snare to kick up Delta dust. Fans of Hammond's guitar, muted on his other recent releases, will dig his versatile six-stringing--especially his laid-back virtuosity on slide acoustic andresonator guitars. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars More Classic Blues Done Right....
Another fine record by John Hammond.. 12 songs.. 3 of them, well written songs by Hammond..With only a Bass and Drums playing with him the music is sparse and done with feeling. Maybe I take JH for granted but I have to admit after a few listens, it sounds like more of the same and lacking some spark. Unlike say Wicked Grin which was produced by Tom Waitts, I consider a Dessert Island Disc and would give 5 stars for creativity and a high energy performance.Also be warned it has copy protection on this CD, which is all fine and good but when it opens the Player you have to use to lisen to it on your PC, it Locks up your computer.I tried running this application by itself on my work PC(new) it takes up 100% CPU..so you can't open a copy program..fine, but you can't open anything else either..I will not be wasting my money on any lame protection scheme like this ever on any CD by anybody..Its useless if you can't play it, no matter how good it may be.I am a Computer Tech.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gritty Acoustic Blues
After a more than two dozen discs and a distinguished career as one of the foremost interpreters of classic acoustic blues, the turn of the century found John Hammond in danger of becoming a blues museum piece. His discs were all well done but it was difficult to distinguish any one from the others. That all changed in 2001 with the release of Tom Wait covers, Wicked Grin, which scored him significant cross-over success with its compelling interpretations of numbers that grew up outside the Mississippi delta. He followed that release in 2003 with Ready For Love which featured not only his first ever self-penned number but a new found energy that pushed the tracks beyond mere interpretation. This effort continues the hot streak. With covers by Percy Mayfield, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles and others as well as two brand new numbers this disc bristles with energy. Hammond's well honed acoustic guitar chops and well traveled voice propel number after number into a new listening experience. Even numbers like Charles' classic, I Got a Woman, which has received lots of play this year as a result of the terrific movie Ray and its accompanying soundtrack, seem to have a vibrant edge. While too many acoustic guitar blues discs sound much the same from beginning to end, Hammond is by turns a jug band style national steel master, a soul cat, a folk balladeer and a gruff, ready to rumble bluesman. A great way to start out your blues year. ... Read more


86. Welcome
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Asin: B000056Q3U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10290
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Doyle Bramhall certainly has impressive rock & roll connections. His father played drums for Lightnin' Hopkins; Texas-born Bramhall himself has served as guitarist behind Jimmie Vaughan in The Fabulous Thunderbirds and alongside Charlie Sexton and Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, Double Trouble, in Arc Angels. However, anyone who buys Welcome looking for a companion piece to Texas Flood is likely to be sorely disappointed. This is defiantly unreconstructed rock & roll, all growling vocals, pounding four-square drums, and interminable guitar solos--matchstick models of sailing ships have been made in less time than it takes Bramhall to get from one end of "Thin Dream" to the other. It is done quite well, as these things go, and may find favor with fans of fellow blues-rock revisionists The Black Crowes. Ultimately, though, there's not much here that you wouldn't find in any truck-stop bar north of the Rio Grande and south of Chicago.--Andrew Mueller ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars classic blues rock - up there with the best...
Ever since I heard the self-titled album "Arc Angels", I've been
hooked on both Doyle Bramhall II & Charlie Sexton. Many have labeled that album a classic - I must agree & "Welcome" gets my vote as well. It rocks! This guy has got the ability to start out with a slow ballad and ramp it up till it boils over... or just plain hit you in the head from the start. Songs like "So You Want it to Rain", "Thin Dream", "Cry" & "Green Light Girl", "Problem Child", "Helpless Man" - go ahead and name the song - classic stuff. I know he's been called just another Stevie Ray copy-cat, but I don't buy that... He's his own musician and doesn't copy anybody. Congratulations Doyle. Any chance for another album from
the Arc Angels? or Smokestack? Sign me up....

4-0 out of 5 stars Bramhall- A unique talent
This CD has one tremendous track #3"Its a Beautiful Day For the Rain"is simply an exhilarating,awe-inspiring tune that like track #1"Green Light Girl" simply reminds me so much of Hendrix style rock/blues that it is a haunting sensation.There are several other fine tracks as well- these two show Bramhall's abilty- beautuful harmony and guitar solos are the highlights!!FYI,Bramhall's first solo CD, "Jellycream"is also an aquired taste but the longer I listen to it the higher I would rate it- On Jellycream track #2"Day Come Down" is Beach Boys harmony,and track #5 Jams-Also "Track #8 "In the Dream" is high premium blues/rock. Lastly, his work with my all-time favorite band,the ARC ANGELSfrom '93 is reall a credit to him also.Lately,summer 2001, he has done some fantastic work on the Double-Trouble CD,"Been a Long Time" that smokes!!This summer he will warm up for Clapton- in my opinion as a blues/rock guitaist he IS in a league with Hendrix,Clapton,SRV,and even James Burton. No oe sounds like Doyle,jr.When he plays,and Carlie Sexton sings-it is magic in my amateur ear.To really "mine for pure gold", listen to all these CDs and you may find that DBll is musical treasure. His style is hard to define(inegmatic) and you may have to lower the bass a bit on the Jellycream mix, but this guy takes guitar visions or concepts of where sound could and can go and turns them into realty. Very imaginative, and creative-give yourself some time to "catch on" but the ride is great.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues Rock Excellence
This is a complete album from top to bottom. It is a record that need to played entirely and enjoyed as such. Doyle's guitar work is fantastic and the band sounds as if they are having the time of their lives. Doyle's tone is amazing and wears his influenes with pride and acknowledges them, more so he put them in overdrive and takes them to new heights.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Momma
If you want to know who the best is...buy this album...the dude got a call from Clapton asking for lessons....I know that Clapton needs them, but to call this guy, man, that says something...

5-0 out of 5 stars CHECK THESE OUT
Absolutely fabulous, if you like this and I think you will check out the following Arc Angels, Marching to Mars (Sammy Hagar)Coming Up (Free Parking) Ah Via Musicom (Eric Johnson) Disreli Gears (Cream) ... Read more


87. Deluxe Edition
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Asin: B000765I22
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 41383
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Musselwhite recorded three critically acclaimed albums for Alligator Records during the 1990s. DELUXE EDITION is a collection of highlights from those releases, which are among the strongest of his entire career. Included on the new CD is a previously unreleased track from 1994 and a never-before-available home recording of legendary Memphis Jug Band member Will Shade (Charlie’s first mentor) and Musselwhite from the early 1960s.

With Deluxe Edition, fans can revisit the music that helped elevate Charlie to his current position as one of the blues’ greatest living legends. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great blues album! A must have!
I am SHOCKED that this album has only one review! Charlie Musselwhite is an award winning blues musician, one of the best blues players alive, one of the best harp players alive, and this is one of his best albums! It's fantastic!

I come home from work feeling crappy after being beaten up in the workaday world, and I put this on, poor a shot of tequila, and suddenly the world is alright again!

Seriously, this is a must-have cd, especially if you like blues harp.

5-0 out of 5 stars muscular harmonica
This album is the cream of Charlie's Alagator work.The cat can sure burn up a harp. ... Read more


88. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica Classics
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Asin: B0000032X5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9617
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good sampler
The trouble with the Blues Masters collection is that CDs like this one, which is compiled to showcase some great blues harmonica playing, is that it never tells the full story.
Howlin' Wolf is here, Sonny Boy Williamson (II) is here, Little Walter Jacobs is here, Jimmy Reed is here, but these songs generally doesn't rank among their best, since they were chosen primarily for the harp playing.

But if you already have the essentials by these artists, "Harmonica Classics" and its companion volume (excitingly titled "More Harmonica Classics") is a really good purchase, featuring several excellent lesser-known songs like Jerry McCain's "Steady", Big Walter Horton's "Easy", and Lazy Lester's superbly groovy "Sugar Coated Love". Just don't think that you can go out and buy the "Blues Masters" series and be done with. ... Read more


89. His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
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Asin: B000005KQK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6887
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"Sounds nice," Bo Diddley tongue-in-cheekily observes of his music in "The Story of Bo Diddley," one of three self-named tunes on this 20-track examination of his classic '50s and '60s Checker Records sides. Not only was the former Ellas McDaniels rhythmically sharp enough to have a beat named after himself; he had a great guitar sound and a seemingly endless supply of shaggy-dog stories, lover-man boasts, silly jokes, and complaints with which to fuse them. His Best boils down the two-CD Chess Box, including signature pieces like "Bo Diddley" and "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" alongside unjustly obscure tunes such as "Pills" (later covered by the New York Dolls) and "Dearest Darling." Great. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars BO KNOWS HIS ROCK AND ROLL!
Bo Diddley is without a doubt one of the most influential musicians in the history of rock and roll. That trademark "Chunka Chunka" guitar riff of his was probably copied more times, by more bands, than any other guitar line. What I liked about Diddley was not only his ability to make rock and roll, but also his equal talent with making great blues. It's only fitting that his first single was Bo Diddley/I'm A Man, with rock and roll on one side, and the blues of "I'm a Man on the other. This has to rank as the most influential two sided single in history. Although you won't find much more in the way of blues on this compilation, 2 of the songs here were written by Diddley's bass player and blues legend Willie Dixon. The first, recorded in 1955 was "Pretty Thing", which features some good harp work by Billy Boy Arnold, and "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover", which has been covered numerous times by rock and blues artists alike. Even on these songs though, Bo gives them a rock and roll slant with his use of right hand rhythm chops. Diddley has been compared over the years to Chuck Berry. The biggest difference I can see in their musical styles was that Bo Diddley used a much deeper african type drum beat, and at times latin rhythms, as heard on the songs "Crackin' Up" and "Bring It To Jerome", which was written by band member Jerome Green, who was soon to become the worlds most famous Maracas player. A couple more of my favorites are "Who Do You Love", which was later covered by Quicksilver Messenger Service in the 60's, and Tom Rush and George Thorogood made a hit out of it in the 70's. The royalities from this song alone should have made Bo a rich man. "Roadrunner" is another song which has been covered many times. With it's "Beep Beep" vocals, I think you could say he even inspired that famous cartoon character that battled Wile E. Coyote. Surprisenly, his biggest pop hit was "Say Man", a different sounding Diddley tune which offered a little hip hop funk with his verbal insults that was known as "Signifying". Bo Diddley, with his trademark homeade square guitar and black rimmed glasses, offered us a little bit of everything in his musicial career. As far as I know, he's still going strong. I had the privalege of seeing him live a few years ago, and the man could still walk the walk. This "Best Of" is a great introduction to Bo Diddley's rock and roll side. Another great compilation by the always reliable Chess Records.

5-0 out of 5 stars "You got your radio turned down too low!"
So says the man on "You Can't Judge A Book By Lookin' At The Cover." He's right. Turn this UP. Get it to the point where Bo's guitar is vibrating your entire house. Let it shake all the dust out of the floorboards. Make your neighbors call the police. This music is worth a night in jail.

Seriously, it could be argued that this guy was the forerunner of so many things. None of the British rockers of the 60's would be anywhere without Bo Diddley. The Who and the Stones in particular owe him a great debt, not just for the rockin' Bo Diddley beat but for the macho, right-upfront lyrics and vocals and the total rock-and-roll attitude. Not to mention the huge sense of fun that permeates the whole Bo Diddley experience.

And that guitar! It's safe to say that nobody ever played electric guitar like Bo Diddley. He just turned on every effect available to him and turned it all the way up. It wiggles, it throbs, it bumps and it vibrates. And if you think the White Stripes invented minimal rock and roll, dig Bo Diddley. Some of this stuff is just his guitar and some maracas! Lean, mean, and ready to rumble.

There are so many classic songs and so many innovations on here, it's impossible to pick one out and praise it too much. I'll just point out here that, among other things, Bo invented rap on "Say Man," and that his use of rhythms that head straight back to Africa predate "world fusion" by about, oh, 30 or 40 years. Or the fact that he was one of the first rock musicians to have female instrumentalists in his band. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

You cannot go wrong with this CD. I don't care who you are or where your head is at or what kind of subgenre of rock you dig; Bo Diddley had an influence on it. In many ways he was the "Originator" as he and his fansites claim. You owe it to yourself to pick this up immediately if you haven't experienced the one and only Bo Diddley. All your rock heroes (and heroines) already have!

4-0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been Among The First Hall of Fame Inductees
Otha Ellas Bates McDaniels, born December 30, 1928 in McComb, Mississippi, took the stage name Bo Diddley from the name of a one-string African guitar. He only registered eleven R&B hit singles from 1955 to 1967, all for the Checker subsidiary of Chess Records, and just five of those crossed over to the more lucrative Billboard Hot 100 [one more "bubbled under"] - and yet - justifiably so - he was inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 1987 - the second year of its existence.

The only mystery is why he was not among those honoured in its first year - Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley - since in my mind anyway he was every bit as influential as any of them in the development of the genre, despite the comparative low hit totals. Indeed, almost all the foregoing adapted a Bo Diddley tune in their repertoire at one time or another.

His first - the double-sided Bo Diddley [# 1 R&B for two weeks] and I'm A Man [a follow-along # 1] - peaked on those charts in the early summer of 1955, but it was the driving rhythm of the A-side that captured everyone's attention at a time when the film Blackboard Jungle was re-introducing the world to Bill Haley's (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock. That had first come out a year before with little fanfare but now, coupled with Bo Diddley, the world was on notice. A new sound had arrived.

But, whereas Haley's # 1 signature tune also did very well on the R&B charts [# 3], Bo Diddley made no impression on the Billboard pop charts. The same held true for his follow-up Diddley Daddy which, with The Moonglows doing backing vocals, reached # 11 in late July b/w She's Fine, She's Mine [not included], as well as his next immediate hit, Pretty Thing, # 4 in January 1956 b/w Bring It To Jerome.

He then experienced a 3-year gap before his fourth hit, I'm Sorry, which peaked at # 17 in April 1959 with the vocal backing of The Carnations and Oh Yea on the flipside. Neither is included in this volume, but his next two from 1959 are here, beginning with Crackin' Up which became his first pop crossover, reaching # 62 that August [and # 14 R&B] b/w The Great Grandfather [not here].

That was followed in October by his best pop crossover, Say Man, in which he trades insults with maracas player Jerome Green. That topped out at # 3 R&B/# 20 pop b/w The Clock Strikes Twelve [another omission]. Also overlooked in this volume is the sequel hit Say Man, Back Again which reached # 23 R&B and "bubbled under" at # 106 pop in late December, and its flipside, She's Alright.

In April 1960 one of my Diddley favourites, Road Runner, made it to # 20 R&B/# 75 pop featuring the great Otis Spann on piano, with the B-side shown as My Story [in here it's listed at track 15 as The Story Of Bo Diddley]. Another I especially liked was You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover which, in September 1962, became his second-best pop crossover, reaching # 48 [and # 21 R&B] b/w I Can Tell. There would then follow a 5-year gap before his eleventh and final hit single, Ooh Baby [# 17 R&B/# 88 pop] b/w Back To School [not included].

The 32 bit digitally re-mastered sound is flawless, there is a complete discography of the contents, and the liner notes are quite informative. But I still had to deduct one star for the omission of those two hit singles [which would have been better choices than tracks 7 and 13 which are obscure cuts] and six of the flipsides. A bit of a strange way to approach a 50th Year Anniversary compilation titled "His Best."

5-0 out of 5 stars Bo blows it away and back!
This is a good basic collection of all the well-known Bo Diddley songs with a few B-sides that were quite well-known. This is rock 'n' roll at its finest among finest. Bo Diddley was one of the originators of rock'n'roll along with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Jerry Lee Lewis; these guys invented rock'n'roll!! Bo's music is an excellent example of '50s rock 'n' roll even though he wasn't a major success on the charts. "Bo Diddley", "I'm A Man", "Diddley Daddy", "Pretty Thing", "Road Runner", "The Story of Bo Diddley", and "You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover" are the best songs on here. They rock the house! They're all good, basically. As Bo proclaims in "The Story of Bo Diddley": "I'm a killer diller."

5-0 out of 5 stars The best single-disc Bo Diddley collection
Ellas McDaniel only had a few hits in the 1950s and early '60s, but Bo Diddley produced greater and more influential music than all but a handful of the best early rockers.
His very first single, "Bo Diddley" b/w "I'm a Man", was not exactly blues, or even straight R&B, but a new kind of guitar-based rock & roll, soaked in the blues and R&B, but owing allegiance to neither. And Diddley quickly became a hero to young white blues and R&B fans like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and The Animals - the Stones in particular borrowed a lot from Bo Diddley's pulsating rhythms and galvanizing stage performances.

This MCA/Chess compilation gathers virtually all of Diddley's best and best-known songs, an hour of deep grooves, tough blues, R&B and early rock n' roll which includes "Bo Diddley" (with the fabulous Bo Diddley beat), "I'm A Man", "Who Do You Love", "Crackin' Up", "Mona", "I Can Tell", the sublime blues rocker "Before You Accuse Me", and the underrated "Pills".

Diddley and maraca player Jerome Green lock into a locomotive groove on numbers like "Roadrunner" and "The Story Of Bo Diddley", and the transfers used on this set are exemplary, the majority of them utilizing masters that have a few extra seconds (or more) appended to the fades, which will cause even hardliners to hear these old standards with fresh ears. Especially revelatory are the "long" versions of "I Can Tell" and the Willie Dixon-penned "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover".
"The Chess Box" is the ultimate Bo Diddley-collection, but this is one single-disc collection that really hits the bullseye, and it is the perfect way to get started. ... Read more


90. Complete Collection
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Asin: B00000JZXJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 29501
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ever get the phonograph blues?
What can anyone say about Robert Johnson that hasn't already been stated? The music he left us just has that feel of someone who has traveled the humid shadows of the early twentieth century, checked into every dive hotel and motel across the Bible belt, stomped his feet in more than a few juke joints, courted the devil and let everyone know about it, smoked a few cigarettes, drank his share of bottled magic and sadness, tasted love and was bitten more than once. The more you listen, the more your imagination is sparked.

This particular collection showcases the 29 songs he recorded - minus the variations. If you are a casual listener, this is a marvelous retrospective of the music. If you are more of a completist, then the critically acclaimed box set is what you want. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the blues - in all its various styles. A few things I like are R.L. BURNSIDE - TOO BAD JIM, JIMI HENDRIX - BLUES and various things from MUDDY WATERS, SON HOUSE and HUDDIE LEDBETTER.

A quote from the CD liner notes by Tony Watts:
"If details of Robert Johnson's life are shadowy, there is nothing at all indistinct about his music which is full of the most elemental power imaginable. Obviously a driven man, he attempted to exorcise his demons through the medium of his songs..."

I sometimes wonder if it's because this guy left so few facts about his life behind, that his music becomes that much better? The popular story of his life's end is he was poisoned by a jealous husband he had cuckolded, and then buried in an unmarked grave after midnight. The king is gone but he's not forgotten: Does the mystery and drama of his short life actually float the music, add to its potency and make it transcendent above what it actually is? My recommendation is to take a listen for yourself. For whatever the reason, I can't stop listening to this collection of great songs. Personal favorites are - HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL, MALTED MILK, LITTLE QUEEN OF SPADES, IF I HAD POSESSION OVER JUDGEMENT DAY, FROM FOUR 'TIL LATE and STOP BREAKIN' DOWN BLUES.

Enjoy. ... Read more


91. The Very Best of Albert King
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Asin: B00000IMS7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8259
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The purrfect introduction to Albert King
There are so many great r&b, jump blues oriented blues singers/guitarists, taht sometimes one disc has to cover a good overview, and this disc does the job. It has plaenty of jump blues stompers, as well as draggers and boppers. There is a little r'n'r but mostly shuffle blues rhythms, great for lindy hopping, jitterbug, jiving, or cruising or working on your 50's hotrod or custom. Awesome rockin' cd, essential! Also if you like Albert King, then Johnny Guitar Watson is a must(get "Hot Just Like TNT"). Buy this now!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Overview of Albert King's Recorded Music.
Well compilation albums are always hard to assess. Everyone has their favourites or all time classics. I personally like the Rhino issues of most blues artists. The remastering is good and their liner notes are always well presented. This CD is great as an introduction or a sampling of Albert King's style of playing urban blues. He was heavily influenced by swing music, Louis Jordan, Robert Nighthawk and Tampa Red. But he couldn't play a slide. He created a style based on bending the strings to get to the notes you want and make them sing with vibrato. This disc takes you on a tour of Albert's recording career from the beginning at King Records with "Let's Have A Natural Ball", a great Jump Blues he used to use as a warm up tune, then on to "COD" from his very rare Coun-tree session. From here the set progresses into seven of his early Stax classics from "Born Under" a Bad Sign and "King of the Blues Guitar". Then on to the later Stax stuff with "I'll Play the Blues For You", from his most creative period. The CD ends with "Cadillac Assembly Line" which was a Stax tune, but released under the Tomato label. This is a well presented and compiled disc. It has great live moments in the famous Filmore West classic:"Blues Power", some rare items and a good cross section of King's recorded work. This was culled from a larger set "The Ultimate Collection" which was issued just after his death. This set has two discs and a great booklet as well. It even has a cut from his last recording sessions at Fantasy Records. It would be nice to include an early Chess release such as "Wild Woman" and something from his rare out of print album (and his last) "Red House". I love "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight". This is a great disc for the blues beginner, casual fan, or as an inclusion in a blues collection. I think is covers most of King's great and innovative blues, funk, R&B and soul style. When he became popular in the 60's he was the leading exponent of using blues as a medium to instigate musical change. Afterall, blues is the roots of all American Pop Music. It is much like in the Scorsese series "The Blues" (on DVD) the film on "Godfathers and Sons" is about Hip-Hip artists doing a blues inspired modern tune. This is much like Albert did at Stax in the 1960s and it is well developed in this CD compilation. Also, what a great cover photo!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good if you only want one disc
"The Very Best Of Albert King" does a really good job drawing from King's 60s output and his soul-influenced latter-day recordings alike, and this is a very good single-disc overview of his career.
A couple of the selections are debatable, as always when you make a compilation, but almost all of the must-have classics are here, including "Let's Have A Natural Ball", "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong", "Crosscut Saw", "Born Under A Bad Sign", "Laundromat Blues" and "I'll Play The Blues For You".
("The Hunter", "Down Don't Bother Me" and a few others are missing, though, which is a shame.)

Rhino's double-disc "The Ultimate Collection" is a lot more comprehensive, however, and contains almost every track from King's superb "Born Under A Bad Sign" LP. If you really only want one Albert King-CD in your collection, that's the one I'd go for.

4-0 out of 5 stars The ONLY King
Years ago, when I purchased this disc, I thought it was a great introduction to the greatest Blues guitarist to ever live, it's great for someone who says, "Yeah, I like blues, B.B.'s cool." Because after hearing this, their life won't be quite the same. I can guarantee they will never listen to B.B. the same way again. Where B.B. plays clean and dare I say, wimpy, Albert was hard, funky, soulful, and dirty. Combining his MS delta blues with the Memphis Soul of Booker T. & the MGs, with the great Al Jackson on drums, King's blues recordings simply have no equals. Even later, without the MGs, King used top notch musicians and cooley slid into the 70s.

Now that I am familiar with so much more of the King's work, I realize how very limited this disc is. There are so many great tracks missing from here, including "Wrapped Up In Love Again", "Drowning On Dry Land", the Mack Rice penned "Playin' On Me" , and I could go on forever. There are tons of King CDs out there (mostly poorly done compilations), but a box set is truly long overdue. However, the sound here is great! This disc sure pleased me when I bought it, and it is always the first I reach for when I want to hear some of the masterpieces that are represented here.

3-0 out of 5 stars Thursday Night in San Francisco is even better.
First five songs on this CD are excellent. If you are expecting blues but not funk rest of the songs may be a little boring. Thursday Night contains all blues of Albert King. You may check out Thursday Night before this CD. ... Read more


92. Sweet Tea
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Asin: B00005CC2J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10837
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Very few artists have attempted--or succeeded in--improving thestandard template for classic blues records set some 40 years ago in the golden age of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Perhaps R.L Burnside's recent heavily produced work on Fat Possum Records has come closest to adding an original slant.

On his new album, Buddy Guy looks to the same source for inspiration; seven of the nine songs here are written by Fat Possum's hill-country blues roster, including T-Model Ford and Junior Kimbrough.Working with producer Dennis Herring (Counting Crows, Jars of Clay) and asmall collective of Mississippi-based musicians, Guy sings with a passionthat can only come from the same source as the songs. The noise generated in the studio through vintage amplifiers has a live and dangerous feel toit. The acoustic opener, "Done Got Old," does not prepare the listener for the colossal aural assault of "Baby, Please Don't Leave Me." Fading in on apercussion track, Guy's guitar hits its cat-strangling best and never looksback, while the voice sounds energized, vital, and wholly contemporary.Through the 12-minute "I Got to Try It, Girl" to the closing Guycomposition "It's a Jungle Out There," Sweet Tea has all the hallmarks of a classic blues album, mixed with a twist of the new. --Rob Stewart ... Read more

Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite album of 2001!...Junior LIVES
A couple of years ago I was brousing around a CD shop in North Carolina while on vacation. In their used blues section I dug up 3 CDs by Junior Kimbrough. I'd never heard any of his work, so I popped one in the CD previewer and immediately had found a sound I had been looking for for a long time. Junior cranked out long, soulful & heavy songs on all 3 discs I purchased that day.

After the first tune on Sweet Tea, a fine acoustic "Done Got Old", I immediately felt Junior's soul coming through with a distinct twist of Buddy Guy's frenetically aggressive guitar work. Sure enough, I checked the liner notes and was pleased to see that several of the tracks were Kimbrough's.

The pace keeps up throughout the CD. An amazing energy. I won't go into details about each track, but rest assured it's all GOOD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Buddy gets down in the swamp blues!!!
Buddy Guy went to the swamp and mixed his classic blues sound up with some voodoo electricity. The result is an album so hot that it sears the soul of any listener brave enough to get down in Buddy's swamp blues. I haven't heard Buddy Guy sound this inspired since his revered "classic recordings". Buddy has found his Mojo again, and it is working overtime! His guitar playing is focused, and it cuts right down to the bone as it shrieks and howls through the stereo speakers. Buddy's vocals seem to be pulled from the very depths of his soul, and he sounds like he means every word he shouts, moans, and groans over this powerful music. This is a man ignited by and caught up in the blues. Buddy Guy may be an old man, as he sings on the first track, but on this album he sounds more like a mannish boy. If you like raw, passionate blues with an edge so sharp it makes you bleed inside, then this album is for you. BUY THIS CD IMMEDIATELY!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Copy cat
An essential?! The best blues album in the past 10 years?! Hardly. This album is a collection of songs by the artists of the Fat Possum Label (T-Model Ford, Cedell Davis, and Junior Kimbrough) which have been covered by Buddy Guy. Why has he abandoned the sweet fluff he's been pumping out the past 15 years in favor of raw rural blues? Has he seen the light? Or is it a move by him and his label to cash-in on the sector that Fat Possum has dominated for the past 10 years? Either way, Guy's covers do not contribute to any of the originals in any way, so don't waste your time. Go to the sourcec, check-out T-Model Ford, Cedell Davis, or the late Junior Kimbrough, and see for yourself where the real blues are found. And what's with the shack on the cover?!

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues with Guts
Buddy Guy takes the blues in a powerfull emotional direction with Sweet Tea. To me and to many other Buddy Guy fans, what separates Buddy from many other "want-to-be" blues players is emotion. Here on Sweat Tea, he lays it all out there. You can hear the love for the blues, you can hear the swamp and feel the power that is true Buddy Guys blues.

Any doubt, just check out Tramp. For those Stevie Ray Vaughn fans out there, if you want to here where Stevie came from, this is a perfect album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a Fat Possum tribute... only pure Buddy, too...
I loved this CD. If it were vinyl, I think I'd have worn a groove in it by now. I was pretty clueless to the whole Mississippi Hill country artists and FatPossum scene, so I thought this was an incredible burst of creativity by Buddy Guy. Well, its not exactly. He is covering several of the Fat Possum artists that both together and individually breathe a new life into the blues. Since I bought this CD, I have started to explore these artists and love them too. But I can still go back to this CD without feeling like it is some ripoff. Buddy is covering a lot of Junior Kimbrough tunes on this CD, but he really puts his own stamp on it. He lets the rythym of Junior's original material be the launchpad for some great moaning and soulful guitar work. I read another review on here that complained that this album wasn't "Delta blues" and that Buddy wasn't such a great guitar player. Well, I honestly don't know what belongs in the "Delta Blues" pantheon, nor am I qualified to critique his fingering technique. But I know he takes some songs that were great by the original artist and plays them true to their essence, while adding his own moody style. It sounds awesome and I don't care about what else it is or isn't.

If you haven't heard the Fat Possum artists, I think there is a sort of desperation in a lot of the lyrics and nonsensical rythym. At least Junior Kimbrough's music feels that way. Buddy seems to be pleading with a woman in "I gotta try you Girl". It sounds like an intimate relationship, but when he gets to her response, she calls him "Mr. Guy". What is that about? It leaves you wondering if the whole song is about some unsavory relationship where they aren't even on a first name basis. But there is no doubting their passion for one another either. It is the kind of thing that seems to slide in under the radar with this style of blues and make it more interesting. The same song ends in some wild guitar work. It includes a sound effect like a clap of thunder, which another reviewer apparently didn't like. It seemed appropriate to me after that solo.

Tramp, which is my favorite song on the album has some incredible guitar riffs. They are slow and moody, moaning on. The original Junior Kimbrough version, sounds like Junior is three sheets to the wind, kind of mumbling, so its nice to actually hear the lyrics on Buddy's version. Although, Junior does a great slashing slide guitar solo on his version, Buddy's version feels truer to the mood of the song. One song starts out like the band is just warming up and picks up a groove. Someone else calls out, "Keep it going. Keep it going."

Yeah. Keep it going, Buddy. I for one, wouldn't complain a bit if you returned to the Fat Possum well of original blues material, again and again. ... Read more


93. Things We Do
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Asin: B00000AFIW
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Sales Rank: 27098
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the late 1990s, a whole slew of young guitarists emerged, all making a grab for the Stevie Ray Vaughan mantle. In this group, one must include Mato Nanji, guitarist for the family venture Indigenous. Unlike many of his predecessors, Mato Nanji may actually be deserving of the honor. That's a bold statement, but a listen to "Begin to Wonder," the instrumental "Holdin' Out," or especially "Nothing I Can Do" off of Things We Do are sufficient to justify it. The album opens with the low-key, midtempo title track, but it's on "Got to Tell You" that Things We Do really hits its stride. On the whole, this CD is a very strong effort, especially for musicians still in their early 20s. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (95)

5-0 out of 5 stars Legend
This band's guitarist Mato Nanji is going to be a legend and he is one of the most talented guitarists alive I think according to this album and the appearance I saw on Conan O'brian. On this album, especially on Holdin' out, he haunts me with the sounds of Hendrix and he brings to mind Stevie Ray Vaughan, only he represents both of their sounds with an all together new talent and smooth style. There is a great mix between upbeat and melancholy tracks, this is as straightforward blues as you can find these days. I loved the entire album. Anyone who likes hendrix, clapton, Vaughan, and the blues will be pleasantly surprised. Mato -the lead and only guitarist even combines great elements of acoustic guitar overlapping on different songs. This is the best album I've heard period from front to back in months. This is just one great blues album. It is about an hour of great music. Indigenous deserves far more popularity, and you should remember Mato Nanji's name, because you'll definitely hear it again.

4-0 out of 5 stars SRV lives again?
Uh . . . maybe not - but I think he would be honored by the number of guitarists he has influenced (the same way Albert King & Jimi influenced him), and Mato Nanji of Indigenous is definitely the real deal. This is by far the best effort that has ever been made by any of Stevie's "proteges" that I've heard. I really hate to label musicians by who they sound like, but in this case Stevie Ray's influence is just too strong to ignore. Not that that's a bad thing - I'm glad that the course he set is being followed by so many. Make no mistake, these guys have their own style, but when Mato cuts loose with a guitar solo you could almost swear that SRV was alive and well playing under an assumed name. By the way, I'm a HUGE SRV fan, so that may explain why I heard so much of him on this album - and why I've talked more about him than I have Indigenous. Just buy the album, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars So glad I found this band!
What an amazing band... I'm so glad to see they have three CDs out now. I only own two, but I'll have the third by tomorrow. They just keep cranking out the blues and each song is more impressive than the last. There's an obvious influence from Stevie Ray Vaughn as many people have said, but they definitely bring their own style to the music and it's something you'll enjoy many times over. Add it to your iPod because you'll want to take them everywhere!

4-0 out of 5 stars Blues-Rock!
It's great when a band can take obvious influences and then add something that is all their own. Just the case with Indigenous, who take a cue from Stevie of course, but also have a certain magic that they bring to the table with it. Mato Nanji is certainly one of the best blues-rock guitarists out there today, but he's not afraid to add in more of a contemporary songwriting edge to the music. Combining acoustic work, strong melody, and the gritty "Vaughn-esque" lead work on ballads and rockers alike, they really have shown that you can take something and make it your own.

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CD'S
Having read about MATO NANJI I bought this CD on hear say. Well
what a positive surprise. This has turned into one of mine and more surprisingly my wife's ( we don't often see eye to eye on musik ) favourite CD's. Everyone I've played this for has fallen
in love with this CD. My niece at 18 loves it, my wifes best friend at 55 loves it and even the disco babes in the office love it. This crosses many boundaries of musical tastes and satisfies just about everyones tastes. This is even more surprising as it is not a compromise CD in any way, it makes a statement about the ability of these talented native indians as song writers, musicians and entertainers. INDIGENOUS may be one of the most important bands to emerge out of the USA in many years. The musik leans towards the blues ( SRV and HENDRIX ) but has enough depth to [take] in even non BLUES lovers. Every song is a killer and the musik will grow on you for month on end.
A must have CD for any musik fan. ... Read more


94. Girls Go Wild
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Asin: B000054P16
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10775
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

Reissue Includes 3 Added Bonus Tracks. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Their first and best disk
Raw and definitly low-fi, coarse and beautiful. My personal fave on this disk ("C-Boy's Blues") is a study in subtlety and dynamics that make the blues so visceral and pleasurable. Jimmy Vaughan's guitar work is so unlike his brother Stevie Ray, but every bit as enjoyable due to his depth of knowledge and original interpretation of the blues. Kim Wilson wails on harp and the rhythm section is tight. I was lucky enough to live near Austin in the early eighties and saw the T-Birds play a number of times in small sweaty bars in the area - absolutely the best way to have seen them. It was sad to see them get so commercial in the later years, but I guess its hard to survive on integrity. I bought this originally on vinyl, then on CD and then again on the new CD to get the bonus songs and the cleaner mix from the master tapes. If you like raw blues, this is as good as it gets.

5-0 out of 5 stars You'll Go Wild Over This CD!!!
This was the first and best CD in the long and storied career of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. I've enjoyed the pleasure of seeing them live many times, from opening for Muddy Waters to closing down famed Austin neighborhood joint Rome Inn (which billed itself as the home of "C-Boy Blues".) Yes, the concert slow-dance classic "Scratch My Back" is included, as well as "She's Tuff," which was their finest, toughest number ever recorded. (Great harp breaks by Kim Wilson on these numbers; in fact, you could say that about almost any T-Birds song!) Jimmie Vaughan (you know him as Stevie Ray's guitar-slingin' older brother) really cooks on the slow blues "Full Time Lover" and shines on "Wait On Time". Keith Ferguson's great bass opener leads into great crooning by Kim on "Rich Girl", while "Rock With Me" gives the full band a chance to unwind, particularly drummer Mike Buck. And, to top it off, three bonus cuts show off the bands raw, danceable groove. (You'll see more people dancing at a T-Birds show than just about anywhere else!) A fabulous CD, one which gives the opportunity for both girls and guys to go wild!

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh My God, I can't Go To Work!
We just unwrapped this CD - It's 6 AM on Guam, the Sun is climbing out of the Pacific, and the T-Birds are shaking the house. I can't leave until it's done- it's THAT good. In fact, I may just have to call in sick and spin it some more. Buy it, try it. You'll like it. I promise.

5-0 out of 5 stars The fustest with the mostest!
I caught the T-birds in 1978 at a KFAT Fat Fry in Palo Alto. It cost $ .94, & the T-Birds weren't even the headliner(Louisiana Red, FYI). They tore it up, & L-Red couldn't even walk on stage after, the floorboards were that hot. I kept on requesting anything by this band until finally, about a year later, "Girls Go Wild" was released. I've since seen the T-Birds a number of times, & heard all their releases, but this is still the strongest. Joe Bob says "Check it out!!", and you'll say "Wrap it up! I'll take it!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Smokin' Blues
A great album. Cool blues, some fast, some mellow. Great Jimmie Vaughan guitar work. ... Read more


95. Alone & Acoustic
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Asin: B000000A04
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Sales Rank: 10509
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars 'unplugged' blues at it's best...
Before I heard this album I was only aware of Buddy Guy's electric abilities, this record showcases just how enormous and down to earth his talent is. Together with the late Junior Wells he weaves a spontaneous and magical acoustic performance. Just wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buddy Guy acoustic blues will blow you away !!!
My past experiences with Buddy Guy's music has been with his fender plugged in and turned up.A true blues icon imitated by every guitar player in the last decade so you could imagine my suprise to see this acoustic set with Junior Wells. Let me tell you one thing...I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! He is a master of the guitar ..plugged in or not.This albulm is the real deal born from the juke-joints of yesterday.Every note he plays takes you furthur back to the days of smoke filled gin joints where hard working folk escaped the oppression of their days. If you only buy one CD this year make it this one. It is the best blues I ever heard. Buddy and Junior keepin it strong and real.Robert Johnson would be proud to hear his blues come full circle .THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars ****½ - wonderful low-key acoustic blues
Okay, an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, how good can it be? Geez, everything must sound the same!
Eh? Well, it can be very good indeed, actually. And it is.

1991's "Alone & Acoustic" is one of the very best of the numerous albums that Chicago blues greats Buddy Guy and Junior Wells recorded together, an intimate, expressive session, and a showcase for Guy's abilities on the acoustic twelve-string as well as for Amos "Junior" Wells' tasteful harp playing.
Sharing lead vocals, the relaxed mood seems to suggest that the two old friends are just sitting down for an hour of easy jamming, but the performances are never sloppy, always tight and done with honesty and conviction.

Buddy Guy and Junior Wells play their own compositions (Guy's "Give Me My Coat And Shoes" and Wells' "Big Boat" are among the highlights), as well as covering artists like Jimmy Rogers (a great "That's All Right"), Sonny Terry (an equally fine "Diggin' My Potatoes"), and John Lee Hooker. There are no fewer than three John Lee Hooker-numbers here, actually, and rather than substituting his own name in Hooker's mini-epos "Boogie Chillen", George "Buddy" Guy lets the narrator refer to himself as "Johnny"!

Okay, so the setting may have been an Alligator Records studio, but this is still acoustic street-corner blues at its best, and one of the warmest, most enjoyable blues records I've ever listened to.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW!!
THE VOICE IS SO DEEP AND WONDERFUL.. THAT TOGETHER WITH THE GUITAR THE MIXING OF BOTH "INSTRUMENTS" IS AMAZING!!
RECORD TO DIE4.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great collaboration, great music
This is simply a great bit of acoustic blues. I highly recommend it for any listening audience. ... Read more


96. Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 [Box]
list price: $89.98
our price: $80.99
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Asin: B000002IRS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8020
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Atlantic Records has ridden musical trends since the late '40s; these seven CDs chronicle the first 28 years of the label's work in black pop, during which artists such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding oversaw the creation and flowering of soul music. Also included are classic tracks by the Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Ruth Brown, the Coasters, Sam & Dave, and many others who walk through the dreams of R&B and rock & roll fans. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars more artists
ps. just like to include more great r n b artists that should be on this great box set from atlantic records like levert & the system. put other divine hits out so more people are aware of other great talent,just plain wholesome good music.do you like good music,that sweet soul music!give us more hits by roberta flack, wilson pickett,ben e. king, arthur conley, otis redding, sam&dave aretha,rb greaves,drifters,spinners,esther phillips,les mccan,eddie harris, herbie mann, yusef lateef, the kingpins, percy sledge,major harris,chuck willis, clyde mcphatter,coasters,jimmy castor,ace spectrum,peggy scott&jojo benson,shirley scott,clifford brown,billy cobham,cornell dupree,blue eyed soul from lulu,delaney&bonnie&friends,awb,bette midler,the manhattan transfer,billy vera,the late,great ms.dusty spingfield,buffalo springfield,derek&the dominos,plus many more!keep up the great work!keep on soulin'on!thank you!jhh52757!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Collection Needs Updated REMASTERING
This 8 cd box set of historical R&B and early rock and roll classics is an incredible collection that documents some of the greatest recordings by a handful of the greatest R&B/Rock artists who created some of the most captivating and amazingly wonderful, R&B/Soul/Rock standards, from the pre-birth rock era and well beyond,in music history. JOE TURNER, LAVERNE BAKER, RAY CHARLES, RUTH BROWN, CHUCK WILLIS, THE COASTERS AND DRIFTERS to name a few! Rock and roll was alive well before Elvis absorbed and reinterpreted it. Unfortunately, the remastering is circa the 1980's and these recordings[at times]fall flat and sound a bit dull and weak. I bought three of the individual compact discs(they were also issued individually)in the 80's and noticed no difference in the sound quality, in comparison to this "updated" version of the Lp Box to Cd. While this is a "cream of the crop" box of classic R&B, it unashamedly borrows heavily from the STAX RECORDS SINGLES COLLECTION BOX SETS Volumes 1, 2, & 3 to a flaw...You'd think that with ATLANTIC RECORDS' long history, they wouldn't need to duplicate the cream of the crop from STAX, regardless of the fact that Atlantic was the "mother" company of STAX's distribution. I'm a "Collector" and I treasure and cherish every track of my STAX BOX SETS(all three and 28 discs!)- chart hits or non-hits - with their supreme and stellar high tech remastering. I'm a huge fan of "REMASTERING" technology and will buy and "rebuy" reissues depending on what artist is honored! Regardless, the recordings in this Box Set are essential to your ears, heart and soul, as Atlantic made history from 1947 to 1974 and well beyond...and they continue into the 21st century! I waited forever to purchase this Box, hoping the remastering would be redefined - but bought it to avoid missing out, and still, I'm almost satisfied, as you will also be. I highly recommend the Joe Turner Box, Aretha Franklin("Queen Of Soul"), Spinners, Esther Phillips, and Ray Charles(all) Boxed Sets, which are genuinely detailed and supremely remastered to the ultimate sound. You can thank Rhino Records for the finest "reissues" on many of those!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Box Set!
This is an amazing and extensive collection. Tied for best box set ever! (The other would be Jackie Wilson)

Really great stuff! Totally worth it!

5-0 out of 5 stars In the beginning....
This most wonderful CD set highlights the roots of all popular music, be it soul, blues, pop. There is no doubt that the great songwriters of the 60's and 70's, not only grew up with this music but did their best to replicate it. As music, it is excellent, as educational material, it is fantastic. If there is a problem, it is with it's length. So much great music that fill a multitude of disks. The difficulty is in selecting just the right CD to satisfy your current mood. This set has the ability to transport to any sound, any age.

5-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION KIDS - R & B STANDS FOR RHYTHM & BLUES!!
This is where rock'n'roll's roots are at. I bought the original 7 (double) LP set. Their original CD equivalents replicated them but for a few track omissions on various volumes. This box includes ALL of the origial LP series plus some 20+ extra tracks not previously included covering the fertile period between 1947-1974. It's an education in itself. This is what boxed sets are about. The raw stuff from the 40's & 50's are a pointer to Elvis & Jerry Lee. This is the some of the original music those artists cut their teeth on. Hearing Big Joe Turner for the first time was a revelation for myself particularly "Corrina, Corrine" and "Honey Hush". I further investigated Ray Charles' recorded output based on this set. The hits are here and things that you may vaguely rememnber as well. Legends such as the Professor Longhair, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Ray Charles, The Drifters, The Coasters, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and many others are more than amply represented here. I had heard some of these songs for the first time as cover versions by later artists such as Foghat, Elvis and even Paul McCartney whose "Run Devil Run" CD was a tribute to the 50's and a couple of tracks on this set get a nod there. Atlantic have done a wonderful job with this release. This is what R & B really is...before it was just a couple of initials representing what passes for today's music. I doubt a kid listening to that stuff would know what those letters stood for in today's context. My own preferences are to the 60's period during which Atlantic,Stax & Volt really came into their own as great Soul labels. Where Motown was probably more "showbizzy", which is not meant as a criticism, Atlantic revealed real grit and toughness in it's music. I thoroughly recommend this box set if only as a more than ample education of the rich legacy of American Rhythm & Blues music. ... Read more


97. SRV
list price: $59.98
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Asin: B000051XZF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4034
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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This career-spanning box of three CDs and a DVD celebrates a legacy that looms larger than that of any blues-rocking guitarist since Jimi Hendrix.Despite fears that a series of posthumous releases had depleted the Stevie Ray Vaughan vaults, previously unreleased gems dominate the selection. Highlights extend from Vaughan's swaggering apprenticeship with Paul Ray and the Cobras to slash-and-burn concert performances from the final month of his life. There are obligatory dips into the songbooks of Hendrix and Buddy Guy, appearances on MTV Unplugged and Austin City Limits, and instrumental interplay with brother Jimmie Vaughan and tourmate Jeff Beck. Though his guitar never loses its flamethrower intensity, the set documents his progression from the showoff licks of the young "Stevie Rave On" into a fully rounded artistry of soulful depth. --Don McLeese ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars SRV - BOX SET
This is a great box set for SRV fans and people who are new to SRV music. This is what all box sets should be, the set has three CDs and one 30 min DVD of SRV & Double Trouble on Austin City Limits.

The music on the CD starts with SRV first recording with Paul Ray & The Cobras to his final concert at Alpine Valley. The CD has rare live performances of songs that were never released on an album, solo guitar by SRV and studio out-takes.

The DVD has an un-aired performance of SRV & Double Trouble on PBS's Austin City Limits, the DVD itself is worth the price of the box set. Stevie and the band were in great form!

There are essays and quotations from other Blues such as B.B. King and Eric Clapton, and there a lots of great pictures in a great package.

5-0 out of 5 stars A guitar legend gets his due
Following last years excellent reissues of his four original studio albums comes this devestating box set of Stevie Ray Vaughn in his natural environment, the stage. Of the 49 tracks that are included here, more than have of which have never been commercially released before, it makes you wonder what they left off. What's here is simply amazing, including performances with his mentor Albert King, to Jeff Beck, Lonnie Mack, and Johnny Copeland. There are also tracks from the rarely seen MTV Unplugged program he did in 1990. There are essays and quotes in the book from fellow musicians and admirers like Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray, and even Stevie's guitar tech Rene Martinez talks about how Stevie got his amazing guitar tone. The icing on the cake is the DVD that's included in the box. Five songs that were cut from the appearance that SRV and Double Trouble made on Austin City Limits in 1989, incredible stuff!!! For fans that have bootlegs of some of tracks included here, the sound quality of whats on the box as well as the other rarities included here make this set worth picking up. One of the best of 2000.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation from an exceptional guitarist
If you enjoy great guitar work and can dig blues, you've got to check this one out. No one in their right mind can deny that Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. His licks rival Hendrix and Clapton, and his fiery, passionate style give his music an edge that few have attained. Amazon could put a money-back guarantee on this box set, and they would still make a bundle!

5-0 out of 5 stars THE STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN BOX SET!!!!!
Without a question of a doubt this Stevie Ray Vaughan box-set is the best ever. I bought this box-set yesterday with some christmas money at Fye Music for a great price. I started out with the first CD of the SRV box-set. It started out with Thunderbird including Paul Ray & The Cobras featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan what a great way to start of SRV's early days. Then from track two to track sixteen its all Stevie Ray Vaughan and double trouble some songs from two to sixteen arte Come On (Pt.3), Lenny, Manic Depression, Texas Flood, Pride And Joy, and many more. Throughout this whole CD their are radio, and concert performances. Then track seventeen is Featured with Johnny Copeland and SRV titled Dont Stop By The Creek, Son. The last track is a jam with Albert King, and SRV. The Second CD goes into alot more SRV and Double Trouble from Couldn't Stand The Weather, Little Wing, Third From The Stone, Mary Had Alittle, The Sky Is Crying, and more. First two CD's are great to start out with the third one is even better. The third includes SRV's latest performances includes Lookin Out The Window, Look At Little Sister, Willie The Wimp, The House Is Rockin, and songs from Alpine Valley, East Troy, Wisconsin Stevie Ray's last concert. The fourth disc included is a DVD of Stevie Ray Performances in Texas in 1989 includes May I Have A Talk With You, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Look At Little Sister, Couldn't Stand The Weather, and Voodoo Child(Slight Return). The box-set is one of the best it also includes a booklet with insights from all the legendary guitarist from Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Steve Via, BB King, and dozens more. So without a question of a doubt go buy this or you will miss out Enjoy!

2-0 out of 5 stars As most box sets are, largely a waste of money
This retrospective is nicely packaged, but the recorded material doesn't stand up to close analysis.

If you're new to Stevie Ray Vaughan, then the best thing you could do with your $30 is buy all his studio albums - Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand the Weather, Soul to Soul, In Step and the posthumous (but outstanding) The Sky Is Crying.

If you want some moving pictures to go with it, then buy the simply jaw-dropping Stevie Ray Vaughan Live At The El Mocambo - which gives you over an hour of a young and hungry unknown gobsmacking a small bar in Canada, as opposed to a fairly complacent global rock star knocking out a six song set to a seated TV audience. The DVD in this boxed set is really poor, actually - it's extremely short, and there are no interviews or extraneous material, and Stevie's tone isn't especially hot either.

If you're familiar with Stevie's albums you'll already have a lot of the material here, and the tracks you won't have aren't really much chop anyway (there's usually a reason materially is "previously unreleased").

The upshort is that Stevie Ray Vaughan, like his spiritual forebear Jimi Hendrix, recorded a small body of truly awesome material, and the industry has been slicing and dicing that, and what ever other poor quality live sets and outtakes they can find since the great man dialled eleven on the big amplifier in the sky back in 1990.

Strictly for completists. ... Read more


98. Showdown
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000009YB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10190
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Call it three for the price of one. Far from engaging in a guitar-playing shootout, Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland work together incredibly well, achieving a kind of musical synergy that's rarely heard. Copeland and Cray handle most of the vocal duties, and Cray's smooth, soul-tinged voice (positively shiver-eliciting on "The Dream," as is Collins's lead guitar work) complements Copeland's growl perfectly. Collins doesn't get to sing as much, but he more than makes up for it with his harmonica on the slow blues "Bring Your Fine Self Home." And of course, all three turn in stellar guitar work, trading solos and rhythm parts with the greatest of ease; Cray was a relative newcomer at the time of this recording, but he more than holds his own. One would be hard pressed to find a better blues collaboration anywhere. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Educate Me, Please!
Nothing better than a showcase of bluesmen, exemplifying what one man's influence can have on his prodigies. In this case, Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray both owe much of their sound to Collins' style and influence. Collins met Cray while touring through the Northwest, playing a gig at a high school prom. Years later, Cray was out giving his own concerts, and has been recognized as one of blues' brightest young stars.

T-Bone Shuffle is a great example of this particular CD, with each guitarist singing a verse and soloing out before the next one steps up to the plate - and each one drives the ball right out of the park...

An essential CD to have in your blues collection, without a doubt.

Peace Out.

5-0 out of 5 stars They're into something !
A great CD by 3 blues-giants, this album won a Grammy for the best blues album. Albert Collins had been brought to the very top of contemporary blues through his recordings for the Alligator-label, while Johnny Copeland hadn't quite received the response his talent deserved. Robert Cray was perhaps an odd choice for this group, for when this album was recorded in 1985, he wasn't really the big name he was to become a mere year later. But an inspired choice it turned out to be ! The tunes have been carefully picked to bring out the vast talent these men had. The 3 men take turns playing a solo and singing the vocals. As all 3 have a distinct style, both when it comes to singing as when it comes to playing the guitar, this is a well-varied album, which fans of modern Texas blues should really love !

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Collaboration
I've been listening to this effort for over a decade and it still sounds good. It's hard to imagine that these guys hadn't worked together for years. Many collaborative efforts come off as contrived. This comes off smooth and natural. The combination of Collins' guitar and Cray's voice on "The Dream" is spine-tingling. "Black Cat Bone" is another favorite.

4-0 out of 5 stars Two Old Pros and an Upcoming Star
Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland were two of the pioneers of Texas blues, and major influences to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. These two guys work their magic on this CD, and bring on a young bluesman named Robert Cray. These guys just seem to have fun with this CD, never trying to outdo each other. Great riffs in the leadoff track "T-Bone Shuffle", harmonica on "Bring Your Fine Self Home", lyrics in "Black Cat Bone" (hear Johnny Copeland yelling "Hey Albert!") and the last track "Blackjack" where each does a tremendous guitar solo. Cray, of course, is now a major talent in his own right, and Johnny Copeland lives on in a way in his daughter Shemekia Copeland's music, but here is a playful, low-key yet powerful, piece of work from some of the masters of electric blues. Highly recommended for serious blues fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for a guitar fan
These guys are great, and I wish this were a box set. I could listen to this trio for weeks. ... Read more


99. Blues at Sunrise
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00004SCH1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9919
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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A decade after his tragic, untimely demise, electric-blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan has left behind a void that remains largely unfilled, despite a number of ballyhooed young pretenders. The guitarist's career was long troubled by personal demons, and this album chronicles those deceptively languorous, slow blues jams where Vaughan did battle with them. The howling, fervent tone he coaxed from his instrument was a product of lessons learned only in the School of Hard Knocks, accompanied by a voice--perhaps the most underrated of Vaughan's talents--that perfectly underscored his tortured gospel. But those who stereotyped Vaughan as a paint-by-numbers bluesman misunderstood the breadth of his lexicon; listen to "Chitlins con Carne" (from the guitarist's posthumous The Sky Is Crying album) here and you'll hear tinges of Wes Montgomery and other jazz inflections. Especially notable are three previously unreleased cuts: a live version of "Texas Flood," a 1985 Montreux Jazz Festival duet-jam of "Tin Pan Alley" with the late Johnny Copeland, and an '84 outtake of Elmore James's "The Sky Is Crying"--plus a 15-minute TV-taping workout with Albert King on the elder legend's "Blues at Sunrise." Raw, passionate, and uncompromising, this is SRV at his gut-wrenching best. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stevie Ray - Bigger than Life
Some live albums make it, some don't...and then there are the very few that really stand out. Blues at Sunrise "stands out" with the best. I was a SRV fan from the first time I heard Stevie's explosively raw blues guitar work on the title track to "Texas Flood," and Blues at Sunrise is a collection of SRV's best slow blues guitar work. The first cut, "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love," a SRV composition, sets the tone for this virtuoso journey through time to some dimly lit, smoke-filled, 2 a.m. whiskey bar in Austin, Tx., and, unlike some albums, this one builds on tension and talent right to the end. Here is a testimony to SRV's head on approach to the blues: he attacks some cuts relentlessly (Leave My Girl Alone) while exhibiting a seasoned subtle touch on others (Tin Pan Alley). Every cut is a bona fide winner. The title track, featuring legendary blues man Albert King, will blow you away - it brings back memories of venues such as the Capital Theater and the Fillmores, where live jamming was refined to an artform that never lost its edge. This album is a must for anyone who likes good, slow, live blues! An all around "five star" album.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greats
There aren't many people who could do what Stevie Ray Vaughn did with a guitar. There's Hendrix, Albert King, and Stevie, who else, you know? This album is packed with the fervid guitar playing Stevie is known best for. If you're just getting into him this is probably the album you'd want to get, it covers almost every aspect of his music.
Old Stevie and Albert King play a classic, Blues at Sunrise, at the very end of the album. In between are songs like Tin Pan Alley, The Sky is Crying, and a blazing live version of Texas Flood, which I think just blows the studio take away. This is such a great album, NOT THE BEST, but definitely worth buying if you're just getting into Stevie or if you've already discovered him and want to hear more. Full of rocking blues, titanic guitar playing and gravely, red hot vocals.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, but it's great anyway
Well, I felt a little bit bad about not actually reviewing the album...you can find my original "review" below, where I make myself interesting by pointing out that this is not new material but rather a collection of previously released songs (with the exception of "The Sky Is Crying", an outtake from the "Couldn't Stand The Weather" sessions, but that one also appereared on the similarly titled album of outtakes issued after Vaughan's tragic death, although that was a different take).

So if you're a tried and true SRV fan, you won't find anything new here...a live rendition of "Tin Pan Alley" doesn't really count. But if you only have, say, "Greatest Hits", this album would serve as a nice addition.
It brings together ten slow blues tunes, many of which are among Stevie Ray Vaughan's finest recordings, like the soulful opener "Ain't Gonna Give Up On Love", a swaggering rendition of Guitar Slim's "The Things That I Used To Do", and the smouldering slow burner "Dirty Pool".
The live "Tin Pan Alley" is top-notch as well. Lots of magnificent guitar playing, and an excellent, expressive vocal by Stevie Ray. His playing on "The Sky Is Crying" is equally superb, but if you've ever heard Elmore James' blistering original you'll probably find that Stevie Ray lacks a little bit of vocal power. If you haven't, you won't care one way or the other :o)

Again, longtime fans will find nothing here which they don't already own, but more casual listeners should enjoy "Blues At Sunrise". The quality of the material assembled here is sky-high all the way through, and it is a great testament to Stevie Ray Vaughan's abilities on the guitar. Only reason I'm deducting a star is the fact that this is really just a re-packaging of already issued material. And the liner notes are kinda brief as well.
But the music? Oh yeah, A+ from beginning to end.

3-0 out of 5 stars sloooow and easy
If you haven't already OD'ed on Little Rave On's post-mortal Hendrixonish blues-on-Reds Texas riff noodling, here's some more. This time it's the slo-o-o-w stuff, the blues as blue
can be, sort of a 'Stevie Ray Vaughan Plays Songs To Swing And Cry By' album. Course, it's all good, not a bad song in the lot, with a couple of originals, plenty of covers (Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf), a few unreleased gems (a live workout of Tin Pan Alley, a video version of Texas Flood)and a blistering live fret duet with Albert King on the title track (from last year's In Session album). Good for an hour or so of prolonged and pained soul-healing blues with an overload of apropos opportunities for face-scrinching air guitar theatrics.

3-0 out of 5 stars Beware!
There is no faulting these wondeful songs.
The only problem is that this is not a "real" album - every cut has been released previously, except for two of the three live tracks, so "Blues At Sunrise" should really be presented as a compilation of Stevie Ray Vaughan's best slow blues numbers.

And as such, it is really too short and too narrow to work as a career retrospective - the double-disc "The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble" is a much better place to start.

Or you could just get Vaughan's original four studio albums, and the excellent "Live Alive" and "Live At Montreux"! ... Read more


100. Soul to Soul
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00000ICN7
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 28158
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Guitar lovers will flip over this reissue's new bonus tracks: a conversation in which Stevie Ray Vaughan extols the virtues of Jimi Hendrix's playing and then essays them all in a medley of "Little Wing/Third Stone From the Sun." There's also the brief slide-guitar instrumental "Slip Slidin' Slim." What's breathtaking about these and the 10 remastered cuts that were the original 1985 album are the remarkably live amplifier tones. It sounds as though Vaughan's plugged directly into your stereo--especially at the climax of "Little Wing," where his Stratocaster feeds back through a wall of spinning Leslie speakers in a fit of psychedelic bliss. Otherwise, this CD still seems like a creative holding pattern for Vaughan, despite the addition of keyboardist Reese Wynans to broaden his band's palette. Nonetheless, the prophetic "Change It," which foreshadowed Vaughan's recovery from addiction by a year, and his in-concert staples "Ain't Gone 'n' Give Up on Love" and "Life Without You" debut here. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some Badness from Stevie
I love this album for that reason Stevie was and still is such a well loved artist...GUITAR,GUITAR,GUITAR!!! Stevie's playing is blazingly powerfull, and his tone is still that clear, slightly overdriven Stratocaster sound that he did so well (In Step is a great album but I like his earlier tone better). Soul to Soul seems somewhat overloaded with blues shuffles; Lookin' Out the Window, Look at Little Sister, Change It, Empty Arms..but nobody could do a shuffle like Stevie Ray. Change It has to be one of the most powerfull shuffle-based tunes ever recorded, it's not a Texas Flood this time, Stevie's riding a tidal wave! In all seriousness, this album may not be a masterpiece in terms of song integration, but as a collection of singles, it's amazing, ranging from raucous blues rock, jazzy soloing and Hendrix inspired heaviness to funky R&B and slow blues.
The added tracks are interesting. The interview part is rather short, the Hendrix covers of Little Wing and Third Stone from the Sun are great to have, wrong notes and all, but leave little doubt as to why they were unreleased. Same for Slip Slidin' Slim, a slide instrumental that brings to mind blues musicians like Hound Dog Taylor.
There are a few weak spots, Stevie sounds a little off time and a bit short of energy on Come on, (pt. III) ...and Stevie's Hendrix influence can wear a touch thin at times..this is still an artist searching for his voice to some extent. But this album really makes me wish he was still around. There's plenty of Soul on Soul to Soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential blues-rock album
Stevie Ray Vaughan only lived long enough to release four studio albums and one live (everything else has come out after his tragic death in a 1990 helicopter accident).

This is his third album, originally released in October 1985, and for "Soul To Soul", Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble abandoned their original trio format and included keyboardist Reese Wynans and (occationally) saxist Joe Sublett.

The music hasn't changed too much, though. It's still a superb blend of blues and rock, and even though Vaughan's guitar is perhaps a little less prominent on some songs, his playing is still masterful.
The material is very strong, with only one or two lesser tunes, and "Soul To Soul" is highlighted by the slow blues ballad "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love", the swinging "Empty Arms" in 2/4 time, and the terrific rockers "Change It", "Lookin' Out The Window" and "Look At Little Sister" (excellent piano playing on that last one, and a nice saxophone solo as well).

Stevie Ray also covers Howlin' Wolf's "You'll Be Mine", and considering that no-one in the world has yet been able to match the vocal power and ferocious attitude of the Wolf, and probably never will, he does a good job with it, although it's not really one of the highlights of the album.

The three bonus tracks consist of a short interview snippet and two songs. Well, three songs, actually, since Vaughan plays a medley of "Third Stone From The Sun" and Hendrix' "Little Wing".
They're perhaps not quite as interesting as some of the bonus cuts on the other three remastered Stevie Ray Vaughan-albums, but they're not bad by any means, and Vaughan's playing is great as always.

"Soul To Soul" has perhaps the strongest track list of any album released during Stevie Ray Vaughan's all-too-brief lifetime (well, alongside "Texas Flood"), and it is highly recommended to any and all lovers of blues-rock and contemporary blues music.
It rarely gets any better. In fact, it rarely gets quite this good.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bigger sound with a new member.
With the addition of Reese Wynans on the keyboards the band get a fuller sound & new inspiration. As Reese adds some great keyboard playing to the music it lets Stevie concentrate on his singing a bit more, with very soulful results. Opening with Say What!, an instrumental on which Stevie plays with two wah pedals, the album goes through every song with a renewed passion for the music. Included on this one are songs like Change it & Come on (part III), but all the tracks on the album are great.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most underrated of SRV's albums...
Many is the time I've heard somebody pick on Soul to Soul. I rememeber when it came out, some critics predicted that Stevie had lost that something that made him so great earlier on. I'd just like to say that they are REALLY wrong. Soul To Soul is a humbler, gentler album than the others, a bit more subdued, but every bit as awesome as In Step or Texas Flood. The songs are traditional but catchy. My personal fave is "Lookin' out the Window", the most underrated song on an underrated album. It's worth noting that this is a great party album too- seriously, put it on in the background sometime, it's perfectly conductive to the part atmosphere. The Bonus tracks and new photos/liner notes round out this excellent package. Ignore some others' advice and pick up Soul To Soul. You won't regret it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Low point for Stevie--
I don't know whether the drugs were too much at this point or what but this is not the usual SRV album. No blazing solos or speedy riffs that leave you baffled. No tracks stand out overall. This album is not even comparable to Texas Flood or Couldn't Stand the Weather. ... Read more


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