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Alligator Records at All About Jazz

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ARTICLE: BLUES DELUXE

Fall 2018

Read "Fall 2018" reviewed by Doug Collette

Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar. Introductory text goes here.

Shemekia Copeland
America's Child
Alligator Records
2018

Notwithstanding its topical undercurrent, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials: The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" reviewed by Jim Trageser

For more than 25 years, Lil' Ed Williams and his three-piece Blues Imperials have been as rock-steady in their roster makeup as they have musically. Since the late 1980s, singer-guitarist Williams has been backed by Michael Garrett (second guitar), James “Pookie" Young (bass) and Kelly Littleton (drums).

That kind of longevity in a band ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Blind Willie Johnson: God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson

Read "God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson" reviewed by James Nadal

As time moves on and the genuine bluesmen slip into historical archives, it is a cause for celebration when someone makes the effort to reconstruct the music of one of the true innovators in the blues genre. Produced by Jeffrey Gaskill, God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson, is a contemporary tribute to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers: Method to My Madness

Read "Method to My Madness" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Few have epitomized the workingman nature of the blues as much as Tommy Castro. A popular staple of blues festivals and cruises, and steadily in demand since he issued his debut in 1994, Castro nevertheless has always somewhat resided in the second tier of blues artists: Popular, well-liked, kept working steadily, but not considered one of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Shemekia Copeland: Outskirts Of Love

Read "Outskirts Of Love" reviewed by James Nadal

The Blues. Much has been written about how it has influenced countless artists in a variety of genres, but few can claim to have been born into the blues. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland, as daughter of Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, has this unique distinction, and has borne this trait with heartfelt integrity. Bequeathed with a dynamic ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

J.J. Grey & Mofro: This River

Read "This River" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Swamp-rock doesn't come much more swampy or rocky than This River. JJ Grey's sixth studio album with Mofro is named for the St. John's River near Grey's childhood home (Jacksonville, Florida) and stewed in a pressure cooker stocked by Tony Joe White, Stax Records, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chess Records and other classic country blues and funk.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

J.J. Grey & Mofro: This River

Read "This River" reviewed by Doug Collette

Over the last five years, under the tutelage of JJ Grey, Mofro has evolved from a compact little swamp-funk blues band into a full-fledged r&b unit legitimately paying homage to the legacy of its native South. This River continues the evolution in that direction, redolent with all the confidence and authority of its predecessors.

The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Burks: Show of Strength

Read "Show of Strength" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Michael “Iron Man" Burks grew up playing guitar. A quick study, he soon began leading the blues, rhythm and blues and soul house bands that backed O.V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor and other stars as they passed through the R&B circuit near his Arkansas hometown. Then, Burks put his own career aside for two decades to make ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

JJ Grey and Mofro: Brighter Days

Read "Brighter Days" reviewed by Doug Collette

Anyone who's seen JJ Grey and Mofro since 2008 knows how the sparks that fly from their studio recordings catch fire when the band plays live. The audio component of Brighter Days, a combination CD and DVD set, proceeds almost breathlessly as the successive cuts appear at an ardent pace.

Recorded in a single ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

JJ Grey & Mofro: Georgia Warhorse

Read "Georgia Warhorse" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

JJ Grey's eleven new tunes for Georgia Warhorse, named for the notoriously resilient Southern lubber grasshopper, reflect and broadcast his love for the rustic Florida backwoods where Grey and his family have lived for generations. Grey not only wrote all the tunes but played just about every instrument, except for the slide guitar that Derek Trucks ...