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CD Review
Percy Strother
"A Good Woman is Hard to Find"
Blue Loon Records, 1993, 15 tracks, 50 minutes
"I'm a bluesman baby..." a line from Percy Strother's new release "The Highway Is My Home" aptly describes this outstanding Minneapolis blues singer. Percy Strother has been an active participant in the Minneapolis blues scene since the mid 1970's. He was born 50 years ago in Vicksburg, Mississippi and grew up absorbing the rich musical heritage of that area. The title cut off his first CD, "A Good Woman is Hard to Find" brought him national attention and deservedly so. He combines traditional blues with soul and R & B influences and has a strong, deep voice that is a pleasure to listen to.

The "Good Woman is Hard to Find" CD has 15 tracks and 50 minutes of soulful blues that I found very easy to listen to. All but 5 of the songs were written by Percy and demonstrate his fine song writing and arranging abilities as well as his superb guitar playing and wonderful voice. I especially liked his soulful If You Don't Love Me When I Want It which reminded me of some of Joe Louis Walker's rhythm and blues styled songs. The CD liner notes quote Lazy Bill Lucas as saying "Mercy, Mr. Percy!" after hearing him sing. I hear hints of Eddie Hinton, Otis Redding, Little Buster Forehand and Muddy Waters in his voice that make it a very appealing listening experience.

Another fine song on the CD, "Somebody Else Is Steppin' In" by Denise LaSalle can also be found on Buddy Guy's 1994 Silvertone release "Slippin' In." Both are mighty fine interpretations -- from the heartfelt singing to the great guitar picking. Two other favorites on the CD are "Made A Good Woman Go Bad" and "Can't Let You Go" which features some stinging lead guitar work. Although Percy doesn't play guitar on all of the CD tracks he does take center stage with his fine guitar playing in his live shows.

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Copyright 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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