Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Best Guitar Cds of the Week - Week of 08/23/2011

Junior Wells - Hoodoo Man Blues (Expanded Edition)
    Another reissue in the top spot? Sure thing,when it's this good. This 1965 album captures the blues at a pivotal time when it was both influencing the music around it and taking in influences of it's own. Wells and guitarist Buddy Guy laid out a virtual template for artists like The Paul Butterfileld Blues Band,John Mayall's Bluesbreakes and Al Kooper's Blues Project. You can listen along and practically pick out what arrangement each song inspired. I'd be willing to bet Johnny Winter is no stranger to this album based on his take of Good Morning Little Schoolgirl on the Johnny Winter And - Live album. Want some proof that not all of Eric Clapton's influences have the last name King? Just check out Guy on Chitlin Con Carne.
   Those influences go the other way as well. It's pretty clear that Wells and Guy were no strangers to soul,funk and rock music. Both Snatch It Back And Hold It and Hound Dog show a heavy James Brown flavor. Guy's guitar through a Leslie sound on the title track shows he was never a strict purist when it comes to effects. This release follows through on the "Expanded" claim, besting the two bonus tracks of the 1993 issue with six alternate takes interspersed with studio chatter,giving a nice "you are there" quality. Wells and Guy have several albums together,all of them worthy additions to a solid blues collection but this is my favorite.

Jen Shyu and Mark Dresser - Synastry
   Here's one for upright bass fans. If a chamber jazz vocal/bass duo album that inspires words like "micro tonal" and "dissonance" doesn't scare you away,give this a listen,you will be rewarded.

O Brother,Where Art Thou? (2 Cd Deluxe Edition)
   While I'm not always a fan of  thing with labels like "Anniversary Edition" or "Deluxe Edition",this is truly a remarkable soundtrack to a remarkable movie. A soundtrack that sneaks Norman Blake,John Hartford and The Stanley Brothers into American households? Thank you T Bone Burnette!

So...That's it? Three Cds? Yep,a bit light this week. Patience my friends,it seems September has a few heavy hitters lined up for us.Want some more Junior Wells and Buddy Guy? Be sure to check out my review of Buddy and the Juniors here.

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