Hall of Fame Blues Album
Thu Sep 19 16:22:23 EDT 1996
Hi all! Shaun mentioned that we should have a blues-l hall of fame category
for essential albums, so here's my first nomination.
'The Chief', by Eddy Clearwater (Rooster Blues 2615).
Recorded over a two day period in 1979 in Chicago, this is an album of nine
Clearwater originals (and a great cover of Ike Turner's 'I'm Tore Up'),
recorded with the who's who of Chicago blues - Lurrie Bell on second guitar,
Carey Bell on harp, Abb Locke and Chuck Smith on horns, and Casey Jones on
drums. Every song on this album is a standout. From the uptempo boogies of
'Find You a Job' and 'I Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down', to the slow blues of
'Blues for a Living', to a wrenching deep blues performance on 'Bad Dream',
which features Clearwater's intense, powerful vocals, this is a classic
blues album from beginning to end. The lyrics are well-written, ranging from
wry humour on 'Find You a Job' to desperation and despair on 'Bad Dream',
and the horns, Carey Bell's harp fills, and Lafayette Leake's outstanding
piano work complement Clearwater's guitar work and vocal performance
perfectly. 'One Day at a Time' departs from the 12-bar blues style of the
rest of the album, as Clearwater extolls the virtues of leading a simple
life and getting out of the rat race, and 'Lazy Woman' employs a 'Tequila'
style rhythm guitar riff throughout; these tracks help to keep the album
fresh and interesting, even after repeated listens.
It's a great one!
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