Thursday, June 5, 2008

CD Review: Get the Blues!

1) Baby's Arms
2) Remember The Day
3) Baggage Claim
4) It's 2 A.M.
5) The Door
6) Last Two Dollars
7) The Salt Of My Tears
8) Let The Healing Begin
9) You Can't Have It All
10) Lucky In Love
11) Miss Maybelle
12) Highway 69
13) Ride 'Til I'm Satisfied
14) My Soul's In Louisiana
15) Pride And Joy
16) Talkin' 'Bout My Man
17) Don't Let Me Catch You
18) Wind Howlin' Blues
Get the Blues! is another "various artists" compilation of the genre, but unlike Pure Blues, it doesn't attempt to chronicle the music's history. Instead it focuses on modern sounds, giving you powerful tracks by big names like Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', and Shemekia Copeland. Then we get an ancient Honeyboy Edwards recording, "Wind Howlin' Blues", for good measure.
The selection demonstrates the genre's versatility. For example, Cray's "Baby's Arms" kicks things off with an upbeat and somewhat mellow sound. Similarly, Keb' Mo' channels John Lee Hooker with a laid-back track, "The Door".
Delbert McClinton brings the country blues with the twangy acoustic guitar and honky-tonk piano of "Baggage Claim". Things get a little more rocking with Copeland's "It's 2 A.M." with its heavy guitars, back beat, and harmonica, not to mention Copeland's powerful vocals. Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Pride And Joy" is a shuffling rocker in this vein.
The collection ventures into soul with Rory Block's "Talkin' 'Bout My Man". This slow, cheesy ballad is followed by an agressive rocker from Koko Taylor, "Don't Let Me Catch You". Taylor's gravelly vocals sharply contrast with Block's smooth, romantic work.
Get the Blues! is a great selection of modern blues. Give this collection and Pure Blues a listen before further exploring your favorite artists, whomever they may be. Perfect primers for the greatest genre.
***** out of five

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