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Author Archives: Dave Hussong

Shirley Johnson – Killer Diller

Killer Diller
 

This is as much a showcase for the great stable of Delmark Blues guitarists as it is a vehicle for Shirley Johnson. There’s no doubt about her vocal diversity as she moves effortlessly between guitar and vocal blues styles. Her warm, throaty delivery is well-suited for Robert Ward’s double stops as well as Johnny B. […]

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Kim Wilson – Smokin’ Joint

Smokin' Joint
 

This CD, recorded over a two-year period, spotlights the world class work of the legendary T-Birds frontman, but of interest to the readers of this publication would be the four – count ‘em, four – great guitarists lending support. You kind of get the feeling that this level of musicianship is hiding around every corner […]

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Eddie Burns (with Jimmy Burns) – Snake Eyes

Snake Eyes
 

The Burns Brothers are a refreshing rediscovery. Like most living legends, Eddie “Snake Eyes” Burns has never stopped performing. The Detroit native is still very active in the Motor City, blending Delta musings with the “uptown” Hastings Street stylings of his old friend, the late John Lee Hooker. Burns’ tough-yet-mellow vocal styling, and his sparse-but-stinging […]

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Kim Simmonds – Blues Like Midnight

Blues Like Midnight
 

While the press release promotes this CD as a departure for Kim Simmonds, to this writer it would seem one more facet of this veteran guitarist’s musical personality. On Blues Like Midnight, Simmonds explores the acoustic side of the hue, drawing on influences from Gary Davis to JJ Cale. For the most part unaccompanied, using […]

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Duke Robillard – Stretchin’ Out Live

 

What can you say about the Duke that hasn’t already been said? Having achieved a lofty level of constant and worthy acclaim, he probably wonders when the financial rewards of his art will equal the praise. The legendary artists with whom he has recorded are an all-time who’s who. Johnny Adams, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Turner, […]

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Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers – Beyond The Source

 

There is no group more dedicated to the blues idiom then Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers. And they are a group. You can rest assured this it not some off-the-cuff aggregation. These riffs and arrangements are thought out and articulated to the nth degree, without contrivance or any loss of emotional edge. Over 30 […]

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The Joanna Connor Band

 

After listening to this album several times, I’m still left with a feeling of not being able to pinpoint where this accomplished slide guitarist is coming from. Her past efforts have vacillated from hardcore Chicago-style blues to heavily distorted blues rock. With this release, she touches on so many styles the listener is confronted with […]

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Preston Shannon – All In Time

 

I admit I’m a fool for soul music. Why? Because there is no such thing as a mediocre soul singer. They get weeded out immediately. There is lots of “half-steppin” in the blues idiom, but with the soul genre you either can do, employing the (at least) minimal prerequisite gospel inflection, or you don’t do. […]

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Long John Baldry – Remembering Leadbelly

 

The Brits, in at least as far as the blues is concerned, have always been our archivists. With a few exceptions in the ’60s, including John Hammond, Butterfield and Bloomfield, Taj Mahal, and a select few equally articulate (but lesser-known), it wasn’t until the ’80s and the re-emergence of the West Coast and Texas and […]

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Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers – Beyond The Source

 

There is no group more dedicated to the blues idiom then Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers. And they are a group. You can rest assured this it not some off-the-cuff aggregation. These riffs and arrangements are thought out and articulated to the nth degree, without contrivance or any loss of emotional edge. Over 30 […]

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