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Various Artists

This is the Blues Volume 1

Review by Gary Hill

The premise of this series is a good one. Collect a bunch of killer blues performances and put them all in one place. The result is every bit as interesting. This is a smoking new blues album that really works.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Jeff Beck - Hobo Blues
This has a definite down home blues element to it. Beck’s guitar soloing is rather left field and moves this toward fusion.
Larry McCray - Black Magic Woman
You might be familiar with this track as performed by Santana. Here we have a smoking electric blues rendition. I love the Santana version, but this has a completely different flavor and simply scorches.
Vince Converse and Innes Sibun - Rattlesnake Shake
This is fiery and more rocker than blues track. Of course, it’s still got plenty of blues in the mix. The guitar soloing here is quite tasty. 
Savoy Brown - Going Down to Mobile
Here we get one of the most purely down home blues tracks on the set. 
Mick Taylor / Max Middleton - You Shook Me
You might be familiar with Led Zeppelin’s rendition of this old blues standard. This one is more pure old school blues than that one. It’s got some killer guitar soloing throughout. The piano solo is well worth mentioning, too. 
Zakiya Hooker / Bobby Murray - I Want to Hug You
Featuring female vocals (from none other than Zakya Hooker, daughter of John Lee Hooker), there’s a definite old school jazz and soul element to this number. It’s a strong tune that makes a nice contrast against some of the other stuff here.
Larry Mitchell / Jay Aston / Wilbur Bascomb - I Loved Another Woman
A fiery rocker, this has some especially tasty guitar work. Like “Black Magic Woman,” it was penned by Peter Green. 
Harvey Mandel / Jon Paris / Wilbur Bascomb / Damon Duewhite / Pete Brown - Long Grey Mare
This has more of an old school delivery and includes some extensive harmonica work. The lyrics to this one have a loosely veiled double meaning. 
Ray Gomez / Pete McMahon / Bobby Chouinard
Evil Woman Blues – Here’s another smoking old school blues jam. This reminds me a lot of something from B.B. King.
Jack Bruce / Gary Moore - I'm in the Mood

A smoking, slow blues grind, this is old school and yet has modern electric guitar fire. In fact, the guitar soloing on this piece is positively incendiary. It takes a while to get going, but once it does – wow!

Luther Grosvenor / Jess Roden - Cryin' Won't Bring you Back
There’s a much more modern blues sound to this. It reminds me a bit of something that you might hear from Robert Cray. 
Tony McPhee - Drop Down Mama
In a nice change of pace, this is a killer old time acoustic blues number. We get just an acoustic guitar and a voice. Still, it has enough power and passion to go head to toe with anything else on the set. It’s got some great slide guitar work later, too. 
Paul Jones - Play on Little Girl
Although this is not acoustic based, it’s no less old school. It reminds me a lot of something from B.B. King. Here’s another track that has some killer harmonica. It’s also got a horn section and tasty retro sounding keyboards. They take it out to a faster paced jam later that’s very jazz-like. We also get a killer Chuck Berry-like section beyond that one. 
T.S. McPhee / Dick Heckstall-Smith - Ground Hog Blues
Here we get a stripped down jam that’s acoustic guitar with vocals and clarinet (or at least I think it’s a clarinet). It’s blues meets jazz in a classy traditional style. 
Chris Jagger - Racketeer's Blues
Another acoustic blues number, this one is by Mick Jagger’s brother. His higher profile sibling appears, too, providing harmonica. It’s a classy way to end the set.
 
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