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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cleopatra Records release: A Double Dose Of Blues - Various Artists - New Release review

I just received a cool 2 cd release, A Double Dose Of Blues from Cleopatra Records and it boasts a who's who of blues and guitar giants. Opening the first disc (From Clarksdale To Heaven - Remembering John lee Hooker) is blues giant John Lee Hookers daughter and blues star, Zakiya Hooker on I Want To Hug You, supported is a stately manner by Johnnie Johnson on piano, Bobby Murray on guitar, Tony Cook on synth guitar, David Daniel on bass, Marlon Gren on drums and Victor Puebla on percussion. This shuffle track is really nicely balanced between the power of Hooker's vocals and Johnnie Johnson's key work. Jack Bruce and Gary Moore team up on I'm In The Mood backed by Gary Husband. Gary Moore really lays out a nice solo on this track with Bruce thumping away behind him. Very nice! Vince Converse leads I'm Bad Like Jesse James on guitar and vocal, backed by Leo Lyons and Ric Lee from Ten Years After. Converse really rips some hot riffs under the track , the band basically keeping the skeletal framework as set up by Hooker. The spectacular, Jeff Beck leads Will The Circle Be Unbroken with singers, Siggi Josiah and Earl Green/Kingdom Choir. Beck's signature guitar work is unmistakable and outstanding. Gary Brooker (keys/vocals) and Andy Fairweather-Low (guitars) team up on Baby Lee with a Latin beat by Henry Spinetti. Very cool! T.S. McPhee (guitar and vocal) and Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax) do a super broke down Ground Hog Blues. Mick Taylor on lead vocal and slide teams up with Max Middleton (Jeff Beck Group) for a swinging version of This Is Hip. Always loved Taylor's slide playing! Super. The Peter Green Splinter Group does an authentic style Crawlin' King Snake. With Green on acoustic guitar, and harp, Nigel Watson on open tuned acoustic, Roger Cotton on rhythm guitar and pete Stroud on bass this is deep! Mr Clem Clemson (Humble Pie) teams up with Tony McPhee and Heckstall Smith for a great boogie, I'm Leaving making Hooker proud. Brooker on vocal and piano and Fairweather-Low are back on Little Wheel and each plays solo's that are nicely suited for modern interpretations of Hooker boogie. Gregg's Egg does a modern/pop funky version of The Business featuring Suzanne Sterling on lead guitar and Futoshi Morroka on lead guitar. Jeff Beck is back on Hobo Blues and again with his signature tone. Earl Green on lead vocal actually captures Hooker pretty well. Excellent! Jack Bruce and Gary Moore are back on Serves You Right To Suffer. Bruce with Gary Husband on drums keeps the bottom anchored and Moore sings up a soulful lead vocal accented by crisp guitar riffs. Booker T on organ and Randy California (Spirit)join up with the Hook hinself on lead guitar and vocal to Red House. Cool!

 Disc 2 (Knights of The Blues Table) opens with Send For Me with Jack Bruce on lead vocal, bass and harp with Clemson on guitar and Heckstall Smith on sax. This is a rocker and a great opener. Georgie Fame lays down a cool jazz If You Live. Very nice! Duffy Power on acoustic guitar and coval, backed by Heckstall - Smith on sax and Alex Keen on bass lays down the most basic of modern acoustic blues. Very nice. Chris Jagger takes lead vocal and guitar on Racketeer's Blues, backed by Charlie Hart on bass, Ed Beane on guitar, Malcolm Mortimore on drums and Mick Jagger on harp. Interesting! Peter Brown steps up on lead vocal on Rocks In My Bed. Heckstall-Smith (of Coliseum) sets down some real nice sax lines on this and throughout the release. Miller Anderson, known for vocals on many bands including Savoy Brown, Keef Hartley and Chicken Shack does and excellent job on Don't Let Me be Misunderstood. Maggie Bell (Stone The Crows) teams up with Big Jim Sullivan for Blind Man. Sullivan shows his excellent guitar strength throughout this track and Bells vocals are solid as ever! On Robert Johnson's Travelling Riverside Blues Peter Green and Nigel Watson harmonize and play traditional acoustic guitar riffs. Very nice! Tony McPhee is on acoustic guitar and vocal on Drop Down Mama. This is a real nice modern interpretation of Sleepy John's original. I've always loved this track, I've Got News For You. This arrangement is slow and really bluesy featuring Clemson on vocal and guitar. Didn't know Clem could sing but he sure can. With Mark Feltham on harp and Ronnie Leahy on piano this track is really hot. Sonny Boy Williamson's Nine Below Zero features Dennis Greaves on vocal and guitar and Billy on harp. Nice blues rocker. The Pretty Things lay down Judgement Day with Phil May on Vocal, Dick Taylor on guitar, John Povey on harp, Skip Alan on drums and Wally Allen on Bass. Very Yardbirds like! Paul Jones and Otis Grand do Play On Little Girl/TBone Shuffle. Jones on lead vocal and harp, Grand on guitar, Mike Hobart on sax, Steve Wren on piano, Chico Lopez on bass and Junior Delmas on drums make this a super modern blues rocker! Mick Clarke (vocal and guitar) and Lou Martin (piano) do a very simple but effective cover of James Cotton's One More Mile To Go, one of my favorite tracks on the release... clean and tight! Mick Taylor and Max Middleton team up on Willie Dixon's You Shook Me. Both Middleton and Taylor shine on this number with sweet extended solos. Tom Killner delivers Midnight Call, a solid rocker featuring his own lead vocal and guitar backed by Nigel Killner and Jake Ashton. Wrapping the release is Eli Cook's Sweet Thang featuring Tinsley Ellis. A lumbering bluesy number, this is a real nice track to conclude a super batch of blues and blues rock.

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