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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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Friday, May 31, 2019

Omnivore Recordings artist: Johnny Shines - The Blues Came Falling Down - Live 1973 - New Relese Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues Came Falling Down - Live 1973, by Johnny Shines and it's rich in traditional blues. Playing during his career with Robert Johnson as well as Robert jr Lockwood, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Willie Dixon Shines is a lesser publicly known but spectacular blues man. Opening the never before released Live recording from 1973, with Big Boy Boogie shines starts this one man show with fleet fingered blues picking that will make you sit back with wonderment. Seems A Million Years, a strong delta blues track shows Shines is not only an accomplished guitar player but with a terrific voice, transitioning smoothly from his wonderful mid range singing voice to his nearly falsetto wailing as was prominent with James and Johnson among others. Very cool. On classic, Kind Hearted Woman, you find a perfect balance of Shines' singing and guitar work, both smooth as silk and uniquely Shines.  One of my favorite tracks on the release is Freddie King's, Have You Ever Loved A Woman where Shines really steps up his vocal game and using call and response plays his vocal against his guitar soloing. Another favorite is Happy Home with a tight recurring guitar riff and Shines' soulful wail coaxing on his fleet fingered soloing. Excellent! Someday Baby Blues has a special hand on the guitar and classic Shines vocals...yet another demonstration of his rich heritage. A rowdy cover of Sweet Home Chicago really got the crowd hopping. Shines demonstrating once again his fleet fingered picking. Excellent! Tuning his guitar down to a lower register and playing slide on Tell Me Mama, Shines really gets to the gritty part of his vocal range and a more guttural sound. With Elmore James style he slams the slide on the strings. Excellent! Shines starts the wrap up with fast paced, Goodbye Boogie and then the sensitive, How You Want Your Rollin' Done. Shines was a spectacular talent and we are indeed fortunate to have this new release of this live performance.

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