Frank 'Son' Seals was born in Osceola, Arkansas in 1942. His musical upbringing started by his father soon became a self-determined odyssey. Son began performing as a drummer, working with Robert Nighthawk and Earl Hooker. He soon after was touring with the Albert King band. Discernible effects of King remain in his work as does the stabbing West Side Chicago sounds of Magic Sam. Making Chicago home, son was soon inhabiting all the South Side haunts and forming his own band. It was 1973 when Son began his recording career with Alligator Records, releasing The Son Seals Blues Band, a live debut effort.
Since that time Son Seals has released seven other LPs: Midnight Son, Live And Burning, Chicago Fire, Bad Axe, Living In The Danger Zone, Nothing But The Truth, and Spontaneous Combustion. Each feature Son's trademark sharp licks and his irascible vocal character. With sheer determination, powerful backup, and championed writing and arranging, Son remains a top draw on the cutting edge of new blues. One foot stuck in Chicago tradition, Seals remains a strong innovator, bandleader, and performer (one who last year was a featured guest playing with the band Phish on a couple of their tour dates).
Support through the years, and on these chosen selections from his body of work includes names like: Lacy Gibson, Johnny B. Gayden, Bert 'Top Hat' Robinson, Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker, King Solomon, Dan Rabinovitz, Red Groetzinger, A.C. Reed, and Bill McFarland. The fifteen cuts on this biscuit all are from the aforementioned releases, with the exception of the previously unreleased "Life All By Myself".
This well-deserved retrospective is long overdue; like Son's blues-filled life and character, this collection has a loose variety, uncompromising integrity, and towering power. Son Seal epitomizes the Chicago blues formulae with strong guitar led music complemented by groovin' rhythms with horns. The strengths of Seals as a composer, player, and the bearer of life's mantras is all over this platter. It drips the "Bad Axe' blues!
Alligator Records; P.O. Box 60234; Chicago, IL 60660: or, www.alligator.com
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