"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
Telarc kicks off 2003 with this baker's dozen and a title that pokes its finger in the eye of the dizzying selection of blues compilations. Purists will pointing their own fingers back since the set includes Tinsley Ellis, Tab Benoit, Joe Louis Walker, and Jimmy Thackery, but with James Cotton, Annie Raines and Paul Rishell, Ronnie Earl, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, and Paul Geremia, there's plenty here for everyone. Benoit goes over the edge of a cliff on Fast And Free and Ellis seems to have far less blues these days than in the past with Hell Or High Water, but Walker settles into a fine groove for In The Morning, the title track from one of his latest. Thackery and Benoit lay out searing guitar over the course of Nice And Warm and Earl digs deep during the slow and sizzling Twenty-Five Days, while "Guitar Junior" settles into a wicked slice of Southern R&B for Crazy Over You. Cotton hands in The Creeper, the Hoodoo Kings (Eddie Bo, Raful Neal, and Tabby Thomas) simmer through Hard Times, and Charlie Musselwhite gets dirty with Big River, and there's a nice cross-section of acoustic tracks as well. Geremia offers Mississippi Fred McDowell's Get Right Church, later, Raines and Rishell cover I Shall Not Be Moved from Telarc's tribute to Charley Patton CD, and Colin Linden hands in Blackbird for the closer. There's little doubt that blues encompasses a wide and varied approach, and Telarc serves up some fine examples on the budget-priced Now This Is What We Call Blues. www.telarc.com. 13 tracks, 61 minutes.
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