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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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Monday, April 8, 2013

Delmark Records artist: Arthur Big Boy Crudup - Sunny Road - New Release review

I just received the latest release, Sunny Road, by Arthur Big Boy Crudup and it's a smash! This is an unreleased studio release from 1969 and what a gem. This is real blues at it's finest, opening with title track, Sunny Road, a stripped down no frills blues track and Crudup on vocal and guitar sounding just like you'd want a real bluesman to sound and Willie Big Eye's Smith on drums. On Please Don't Leave Me With The Blues, Mike Thompson joins on guitar and Mark Thompson on bass. Crudup holds the spotlight but is backed by Jimmy Dawkins and the complement of Dawkins guitar riffs with Crudup's vocal timbre with his phrasing is killer. Trying To Take Me For A Ride has the sound that real rock came from. This is nicely composed without adornment but just showing the man and his band. On She Gives Me A Thrill, Dawkins takes another distinctive guitar solo and creates cool guitar filler throughout this track but really it's Crudup's delivery that really makes this track. His delivery is impeccable. Mistake I Made In LA is a really cool track with a bit of a lope to it. Crudup starts off with the real cool guitar sound of his guitar through a Leslie giving it a real shimmery organ like quality. Crudup's vocals are real and life like making all the difference in the world when listening to his delivery. This is really something that you need to experience. Not something that I can explain to you. Again, having his own sense of time is a great feature of his delivery as with John Lee Hooker in his early work. The One That I Love is a great slow blues track and possibly one of my favorite tracks on the release. This is a very uniform release in that every track is great and it all flows well but each track has it's own character. I Have Called China is another slower track and this time featuring Dawkins again on guitar. Crudup captures all of the essence of the original delta style but delivers it in a more modern full band style, just shy (not in talent but in polish) of where Morganfield went. This is a brilliant new discovery for blues enthusiasts. I'm Leavin' Town really shows the roughness with which the execution of the track has been managed but in my own listening, I believe it adds to the warmth of the release compared to a perfect production recording of today. Finishing up with All I Got Is Gone, this is one of the best new (old) releases that I have heard. I have a real soft spot for more primitive style blues and this is just lightly buffed....not polished  and very strong. This will definitely be on Bman's Best Releases of the year!!  

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This track is not from the release.


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