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CD Review
Johnnie Bassett, The Butler Twins & Alberta Adams (CD Review)
"Blues Across America the Detroit Scene"
Cannonball Records, 55 minutes, 12 tracks (4 each), 1997
This unique series that Cannonball Records is putting out features some real gems. It offers a glimpse into the local blues scene of some of our major blues cities allowing us to sample the wealth of talent by some great blues performers. Johnnie Bassett, who has been playing and recording since the early 1950's, has a distinctive guitar style that draws on the influences of T-Bone Walker, Tiny Grimes and Charlie Christian. His smooth, urban, jazzy stylings offer a counterpoint to his world weary vocals that tell a story as much as his lyrics. The Butler Twins are at the other end of the spectrum playing that direct, down-home, gut-bucket brand of blues with strong Delta and early Chicago influences. Their style of blues reflects a melding of these great sources into a sound that remains untouched by time. The deep toned harmonica playing of Clarence Butler and the guitar playing of Kenny Parker take a chapter right out of the 1950's electrified blues song book. Alberta Adams, the grand dame of Detroit blues, has been performing since the late 1930's and still can belt out the blues with the best of them. Adams has a strong, rich voice with a tone and expressive quality that grabs the listener by the heart and won't let go. This is a great collection of modern day blues from the Motor city that should serve as a major career boost to these artists like the classic Alligator series "Living Chicago Blues" did for Lonnie Brooks and Magic Slim.

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Copyright 1997, 1998 by Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1997, 1998 by Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved.