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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Willie Dixon: Wille Dixon's Big Three Boogie

Read "Wille Dixon's Big Three Boogie" reviewed by Joe Milazzo

What remains to be written about Willie Dixon? He will most likely never be known much for his bass playing, but rather because he was arguably the preeminent blues lyricist of the post-war era, an activist and agitator for the rights of musicians of the folk tradition, and the guiding spirit of one of this country's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Christian: When Lights Are Low

Read "When Lights Are Low" reviewed by Al Rearick

For everyone wondering if and when Sony will ever get around to upgrading the CDs of music by legendary guitar-player Charlie Christian, well...I guess we’ll have to keep waiting. In the meantime, though, the good folks at Catfish Records have beaten Sony to the punch with their great-sounding compilation of prime Christian, When Lights Are Low. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Various: Texas Blues

Read "Texas Blues" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Commonly regaled as a definitively American musical form, the blues are in fact a living amalgam of social, cultural and artistic antecedents both indigenous and otherwise. African-derived rhythms and folklore intersected with traditions extrapolated from European, Latin and Polynesian sources--with everything falling into the simmering melting pot that describes the music. Distinct styles were the product ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl Hooker: There's A Fungus Amung Us

Read "There's A Fungus Amung Us" reviewed by Derek Taylor

The reasons behind Earl Hooker’s lack of public notoriety are not difficult to discern when his discography is stacked up against that of his more famous cousin John Lee Hooker. The bulk of Earl’s legacy lies in the prolific, but largely anonymous session work he did for labels like Chief, Chess and King and it wasn’t ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Muddy Waters: Streamlined Woman

Read "Streamlined Woman" reviewed by Al Rearick

Trust the British to go and dig up as much blues roots as possible. The blues as a music form was born in the states with folks like Robert Johnson, Son House and Muddy Waters. It was a blend of art culture that trickled into American interest, but, like so many other artforms, soon faded into ...

Ted Hawkins: The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins

Read "The Unstoppable Ted Hawkins" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Calling Ted Hawkins a blues artist unnecessarily narrows the breath of the man’s repertoire and reach. Closer to a modern troubadour his songbook drew on a wealth of music and influences. Busking on the sidewalks of Venice Beach for years he cultivated a sound steeped in the blues and rock and roll, Stax-era soul, American folk, ...

Michael Messer: King Guitar

Read "King Guitar" reviewed by Joe Milazzo

What makes a blues performance “authentic"? It's a question loaded with an excess of assumptions (about ethnicity, about geographic origins, and about the content of an individual's character), but any answer can only be found in what transpires between an artists and his or her audience. If the blues is more than just a form, if ...

Henry Townsend & Friends: Henry's Worried Blues

Read "Henry's Worried Blues" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Miraculously still active after nearly a century of life Henry Townsend is a certified blues legend. A native of Mississippi born in 1909, he set up residence in St. Louis in his late teens and was soon ensconced in the thriving blues scene there. His sound is indicative of the region and often features sparse, utilitarian ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ramblin' Thomas: Hard Dallas

Read "Hard Dallas" reviewed by Derek Taylor

True to his ascribed moniker Ramblin’ Thomas was prone to riding the rails and wandering the back roads of rural America. At various points during his peregrinations he let the dust behind his feet settled long enough in urban areas to record the lasting sides gathered on this recent Catfish compilation. Unfortunately as fate would have ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Scrapper Blackwell: Bad Liquor Blues

Read "Bad Liquor Blues" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Scrapper Blackwell was a pioneering blues guitar genius possessing a technique that made most of his peers green with envy. Sadly, as if living the lyrics of one of his song, his career took a mortal blow with the passing of his musical partner Leroy Carr. Carr and Blackwell were the earliest and most successful blues ...