"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
When Luther Allison tragically left us in 1997, no one imagined the cornucopia of posthumous CD releases that would abound. This is the first such disc to feature studio out-takes. The CD's 70 minutes is comprised of 12 wide-ranging tracks recorded between 1985 and 1996. Half of the tunes are LA originals and half have not previously been available in America. All songs are performed with guest artists and bands including Patrick Verbeke, Kenn Lending, Joanna Connor and Friend 'N Fellow among others. The liner notes come laced with anecdotes about the recordings. Here you will encounter the following reoccurring themes: love for fellow musicians; mentoring; respect and sincerity.
"I Wanna Be With You" is a pop tune with a reggae feel. It was too out of context for the Blue Streak album. Of course, context is the greatest challenge for a CD of out-takes such as this. An inconsistency with the various producers can be detected but doesn't distract from this one-of-a-kind disc. Allison's guitar sounds a lot like B.B. King on "Still Called The Blues" as performed with James Solberg. Charlie Bingham delivers exceptional guitar on the tune as does Mike Vlahakis with keyboards. "Just As I Am" is a slow, soulful ballad from the Reckless sessions. On it, Marla Glen's vocals are as chilling as Mavis Staples'. The sole instrumental, "Perfume & Grime" may well be the finest track. It was recorded with Otis Grand who is the UK's finest blues guitarist to emerge in years. Grand recalls the recording session. 'Luther … showed up, … plugged in … and proceeded to tear up the place … with the most amazing raw and heartfelt blues guitar. I was supposed to be trading licks with him, but I was so dumbstruck that I could only begin to play near the end of the track.' If you haven't truly confronted the blues, Otis and Luther will put you in touch with your soul by allowing you to feel your deepest emotions. Allison originally intended his 1996 Song of the Year, "Cherry Red Wine" to have horns. You can experience this thanks to an overdubbed recording with the Horns of Holland. Luther was no greater a mentor than to his own son, Bernard. On "Idols In Mind", BA honors the artists that got him enthused about the blues.
Luther toured constantly so listeners will not be surprised to encounter 3 live tracks. "Dock Of The Bay" was recorded in Montreux in 1985 with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Luther's extraordinary vocals force the imagination to run wild. "Love Is Free" is from 1988 and it is a song that has changed lives. Throughout, Luther's vocals are gritty and powerful. At times, they are mean and rough. After hearing this CD, patrons will not know which was better (his voice or guitar) as both are so incredibly intense. Long before corporate America embraced the "pay it forward" philosophy, Luther Allison was practicing it! Don't miss this adventure courtesy of RUF Records.
For more information contact: Ruf America, 162 North 8th Street, Kenilworth, NJ 07033 USA Phone: (908) 653-9700 Website: www.rufrecords.de
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