221

Pee Wee Crayton: Blues Guitar Magic, The Modern Legacy, Vol. 2

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Pee Wee Crayton: Blues Guitar Magic, The Modern Legacy, Vol. 2 Some of the most sophisticated blues was recorded during that interval following World War II before rock 'n roll took America by storm. Pee Wee Crayton was one of the leading guitar innovators during that period, and his pioneering style is well represented on this disk.

The Modern Legacy, Volume 2, Blues Guitar Magic is not quite as strong as its precursor Volume 1 (1996), but it comes close. This one is dominated by slow, enticing numbers and jump blues instrumentals — the remainder of Crayton's output for Modern Records. Among the 25 tracks are some of Crayton's hits, various B sides, and a few unreleased gems waxed between 1949 and 1952.

Though tutored by fellow Texan T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton was actually the more assertive axeman. Crayton infused Walker's swinging style of blues with a new kind of energy channeled through his Epiphone amplified guitar. In the early '40s, Crayton moved to Oakland, where he became one of the founders of West Coast blues while helping to blaze the trail for rock 'n roll guitarists. (Chuck Berry borrowed heavily from Crayton's style of playing, though he has never admitted so publicly.) Ironically, Crayton's popularity waned in sync with rock 'n roll's emergence.

Crayton's guitar playing is scintillating on this retrospective collection, and his high-pitched vocals are nearly as soulful. Included are two of Crayton's biggest hits: "I Love You So," a sweet, sumptuous tune, and "Texas Hop," a jumpin' instrumental featuring a rockin' guitar solo and wailing sax . "Texas Hop" is proof positive that Pee Wee Crayton was an important link between T-Bone Walker's blues and Chuck Berry's rock. The disk also contains three tracks never before released, as well as several instrumentals that successfully recreate the feeling Crayton established with his biggest-selling hit "Blues After Hours" (found on Volume 1 ).

Pee Wee Crayton never got the attention or respect he deserved during his lifetime (he died in 1985), but many guitarists still cite him as a primary influence. Contemporary Crayton lovers include Dave Specter, Shuggie Otis and Harry Kaiser. Most importantly for blues fans, Pee Wee's early music holds up very well 50 years after it was recorded.


Title: Blues Guitar Magic, The Modern Legacy, Vol. 2 | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Ace/Westside


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II" CD/LP/Track Review Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "I'll Be Seeing You" CD/LP/Track Review I'll Be Seeing You
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 24, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.