Mississippi Blues

February 3, 2017 - Comment

NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILEThis well-chosen 11-track collection succeeds admirably in its attempt to represent the Mississippi, the river of blues. This deep, wide, multihued collection of blues combines an expansive chronological and stylistic sweep with a commendable attention to entertainment value through its emphasis on the unexpected. Bobby “Blue” Bland’s awe-inspiring vocal

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(as of 18 October 2018 18:31 UTC - Details)

NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILEThis well-chosen 11-track collection succeeds admirably in its attempt to represent the Mississippi, the river of blues. This deep, wide, multihued collection of blues combines an expansive chronological and stylistic sweep with a commendable attention to entertainment value through its emphasis on the unexpected. Bobby “Blue” Bland’s awe-inspiring vocal on “St. James Infirmary,” a masterpiece of American music, is an expected highlight, but selections like Ike and Tina Turner’s 1969 take on the B.B. King standard “3 O’clock in the Morning” and the electrifying Luther Allison’s “Part Time Love,” a Motown gem from early in his career, provide satisfying surprises. Chris Thomas King’s subtle but significant modernization of Robert Johnson’s “Come On in My Kitchen,” a performance both rootsy and progressive, is a perfect fit for the collection. Much of the music has a folksy feel, especially the work of Mississippi John Hurt, an acoustic purist until the end, who rolls through a back-to-the-basics “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” and that of voluntary European exile Memphis Slim, whose piano-powered “Stewball” features the legendary Willie Dixon on bass. Other legends, including John Lee Hooker and Junior Wells, are well represented, but it’s Memphis Minnie, a seminal guitar star of the 1930s, who steals the show with her empowered “I Got to Make a Change Blues.” –Michael Point

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