Exile On Blues Street
(Telarc (2003) 83571)
10 tracks, 50 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: November 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
The wave of tribute CDs has honestly gotten out of hand. While it's understandable to have rockers respecting their influences by tipping the interest scales in favor of older blues masters, the newer trend seems to be blues artists tipping their hat to rock icons. We've already witnessed blues-based tributes to Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, the Beatles, and others, and the newest is Telarc's Exile On Blues Street. There's little question that the Glimmer Twins and their cronies were certainly rooted in blues, as they've proven through the years in both their 'live' shows and recordings, but is it necessary to gather this group together to honor the Rolling Stones or their time-honored Exile On Main Street? While Lucky Peterson fares well on Ventilator Blues, Christine Ohlman is little more than pedestrian for All Down The Line, Tommy Castro sounds far too much like Delbert McClinton on Rip This Joint, and Jeff Lang plays some fine bottleneck on Sweet Virginia, but it's not enough to revive the track from the abyss of boredom. Colin James delivers some drilling Keef-like rhythm for Tumbling Dice, but Andrea Re proves that in the hands of anyone less than Mr. Jagger, this classic is best left untouched. Things don't improve for Tab Benoit's version of the Slim Harpo gem, Shake Your Hips, and Deborah Coleman's rudimentary guitar turns Happy into a party pooper, but thanks to Jimmy Thackery's vocal deficiencies, Rocks Off is nothing more than painful. The foundation of Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton anchoring the proceedings is solid enough, although the Stones aren't about to be bettered at their own game, regardless of how much things have changed over time for them. And much like other recent tributes for aging rockers, do the Stones need any additional royalty checks written out to them?
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