Sitting & Thinking-Luther Allison.
Mon Oct 2 15:29:18 EDT 1995
By request -
LUTHER ALLISON - BLUE STREAK (ALLIGATOR #4834)
ALLIGATOR RECORDS BOX 60234 CHICAGO, IL 60660
Luther Allison is back and back with a wallop. This CD offers up
a number of sides to this exceptional bluesman. He plays plenty
of blues and adds some funk, a bit of jump and some very moving
R&B. His horizons are expanding as fast as he is given the
stage. Alligator has offered Mr. Allison this possibility and
the results are a blaze of top flight music.
ALL THE KING'S HORSES / WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG / BIG CITY / MOVE
FROM THE 'HOOD / WHATS'S GOING ON IN MY HOME? / I BELIEVE IN YOU
/ CHERRY RED WINE / WALKING PAPERS / THINK WITH YOUR HEART / YOU
DON'T KNOW / SHOULD I WAIT / MIDNIGHT CREEPER
ALL THE KING'S HORSES: Luther Allison plays a ton of music. Here
the first few bars out of his guitar and the first few words out
of his mouth sum it all up - big, bad and ferocious. The guitar
work on this side is electric magic and Mr. Allison's vocals are
rich and full of music. A great opener to what you will soon
discover is a major blues CD that never lets up.
WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG: Here the fever turns to funk blues. A
lighter side to Mr. Luther Allison but still full of all of his
musical abilities. The guitar here is set back a bit to allow
the vocals sit up front and center, although a few riffs let you
know Mr. Allison's guitar is still on stage.
BIG CITY: This cut slows down another notch with some beautiful
keyboard work by Ernest Williamson. Luther Allison is standing
at the crossroads of blues and soul (later on in the CD you will
get a full blast of Mr. Allison full out R&B) and he sounds so
good. There is about half way in a set of long Luther Allison
guitar solos that will sweep your feet out from under you. This
is a stellar side for every second of its 5+ minute run.
MOVE FROM THE 'HOOD: The drums open up this side and the
instruments are the showcase for the first 45 seconds. A great
big music intro to a Luther Allison written side. Mr. Allison
has written 11 of the 12 sides on this CD - some alone and some
as co-writer. Each one shows off Mr. Allison's professionalism
and talents - as singer, guitarman and writer.
WHATS'S GOING ON IN MY HOME?: Two nice guitars play to one
another as this side slips back to a drawl. The pace again is
slower and presents a more modern blues approach. It's nice to
see Mr. Allison breaking out of being just a bluesman and into
the arena of being an all around artist.
I BELIEVE IN YOU: Get ready to rock. Here Mr. Allison turns up
the energy and the motion. A rock-blues side that is one of the
best cuts to this entire CD. A must listen to.
CHERRY RED WINE: Luther Allison now turns back to the dark side
of the blues. This cut has the power and vigor of his earliest
recordings and is full of fire-and-ice. His vocals are sharp and
penetrating and the backup keyboard of Mike Vlahakis is a smart
counterpoint to Mr. Allison both on guitar and vocally. This is
without question a first play side - remember it - you will give
this CD and this cut in particular lots of play many times over,
WALKING PAPERS: This side has a rolling, driving solid blues
feel. It is a mid tempo cut with plenty of instruments. As
always Mr. Allison includes plenty of his signature guitar work.
THINK WITH YOUR HEART: A BIG TREAT - Luther Allison as promised
delivers a straight soul side and if that is not enough he does
it with the exceptional pair of Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love -
The Memphis Horns. Just think of what that much artistry must
sound like and you'll get a quick feel for this side and this CD.
This is absolutely beautifully sung, beautifully arranged and a
side to Mr. Allison I have never heard before. Bravo to all -
Mr. Allison, The Memphis Horns and Alligator for getting this
YOU DON'T KNOW: From the soul of the last cut Luther Allison now
turns up the tempo and delivers a jumping blues cut. This side
is full of fun and frolic and some very complex arranging -
showing off more of what Mr. Allison is looking to bring to his
music and the blues genre. As long as Mr. Allison plays the
blues we can be sure that it will move forward.
SHOULD I WAIT: Listen up to the piano of Bruce McCabe and the
acoustic sounds from Mr. Allison - a good sound for a fine side.
MIDNIGHT CREEPER: Some more soul to end a CD that has been a real
treat from start to finish. Here Luther Allison gets some backup
vocals from two fine ladies - Jacqueline Johnson and Jacquelyn
Reddick. This CD is a must get - do it and do it now.
Reviewed by Barry Silverberg
Copyright NY CD Blues - 1995
NY CD Blues
Definitive In-Depth Blues Reviews
c/o Barry Silverberg 77 Fulton Street #24C New York, NY 10038
More information about the Blues-l