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 BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read The Crave CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965 CD/LP/Track Review Kickin' Child - The Lost Album 1965
by Doug Collette
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Earth Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Earth Tones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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