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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Charlie McCoy

Screamin', Shoutin', Beggin' And Pleadin' - The Rock 'n' Soul Recordings 1961-69

Review by Gary Hill

This collection of music from Charlie McCoy covers a lot of territory. I really like parts of this a lot, particularly the more rocking stuff. Some of the poppier things lose me a little McCoy's harmonica playing is a near constant strength. There is plenty of great music here, making this a good introduction to this artist or a fine addition to a fan's collection.

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Track by Track Review
Screamin', Shoutin', Beggin', Pleadin'
This is a fun pop rocker. It has some great melodies, hooks and tones. This is a great way to start things in style.
It's A Man Down There
I've always enjoyed this song when done by other artists. I dig the blues-rocking sound on this version. They really put in a solid rendition.
Gimme Some Lovin'
Here is another classic song given the Charlie McCoy treatment. This version really works so well.
Shot Gun
The harmonica is a great touch on this energetic rocker. This is another classic tune, and it gets a great performance.
Cherry Berry Wine
This one doesn't work as well for me as some of the others do. The jazzy sort of groove just feels a little lackluster. That said, as much as it has a psychedelic edge, it gains something. They should have focused a little more on that angle in my opinion.
Now, this bluesy instrumental romp is so much fun. The horns and harmonica are both on fire. the bass-line is a powerhouse, and the whole thing just rocks like crazy.
My Babe
A bouncy rocker this is a fun song. There is some cool talk box at play on this number.
Turn On Your Lovelight
This energetic romp gets a fun performance here. Again the horns and harmonica bring something special to it.
Harpoon Man
An energized rocker, this feels like something The Blues Brothers might have done.
Hey Baby
Another bluesy cut, this is unentertaining, but not one of the stronger pieces here.
Rooster Blues
Here we get another bluesy rock and roller. This is fun stuff.
Candy Man
I really love this bluesy tune. The harmonica brings a lot to the table, but everything about this one oozes cool.
Up Tight
Jazz rock is on the menu on this energetic tune. It's a lot of fun.
Will You Love Me Tomorrow
This has an old-time contemporary pop with a doo-wop angle sound to it. This is not my kind of thing, really.
Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
There is a lot of 50s rock and roll on this tune, too.
You've Got To Face Life
I love the energy and jazzy groove on this romp. This is more of a pop rocker, but it's a lot of fun.
Girl (Those Were The Good Old Days)
A little too poppy and over-produced for my tastes, this is entertaining, but not really my flavor.
The Boy From England
Even more of a pop song, I'm not all that excited about this one.   
The Gas Lantern feat. Charlie McCoy - Hoot Owl Blues
We get some bluesy rocking instrumental work on this. I like this number quite a bit. It reminds me a little of Booker T. and The MGs.
I'm Ready
This killer blues rocker works so well. It's a lot of fun.
My Little Woman
An old-fashioned sound is on display on this slower tune. It feels a bit like a crooner does early rock and roll. I don't think is as good as some of the rest here, but it works alright.
Drums start this. Harmonica joins with no other instruments in the mix. Eventually the rest of the musicians join and this rocks out with a killer jazzy arrangement. Yet, it still drops to just harmonica and drums again later. That alternating pattern of full arrangement contrasted with drums and blues harp continues as this instrumental drives forward. This is quite a fun instrumental.
Cold, Cold World
A ballad with a bit too precious arrangement, this doesn't work all that well for me.
Jump Back Baby
There is some great energy to this rocking groove.
I Just Want To Make Love To You
This is more of a traditional blues tune here than it was when Foghat did it.
My Baby's Back Again
Here is another that's a bit too over-produced pop sounding for me.          
The Gas Lantern feat. Charlie McCoy - Mach 1
Here we get a powerhouse instrumental. It has some serious jazz, blues and rock and roll built into it.   
Good Vibrations
They deliver an instrumental take on the Beach Boys. It touches on some other music from the group in this track, too. This is pretty effective.
Let Him Go
This bluesy rocker includes a strong vocal arrangement. It's a good tune, but not a standout. 


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