The title of this disc echoes the question many blues fans ask when they first hear Luther Allison’s amazing Alligator releases, Soul Fixin’ Man and Blue Streak, and learn that he walked away with five W.C. Handy awards in 1996. The contents of this disc will answer the question and leave no doubts in your mind.
Luther learned the blues playing alongside Magic Sam and Freddie King in Chicago, wowed the world at the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues festival, released a string of albums, and then moved to France in the 1980s. In his own words, he was bigger than B.B. King in Europe, but it wasn’t until Alligator released Soul Fixin’ Man in 1994 that he caught the attention of the American audience once again. The prodigal son has returned with a fury.
Where Have You Been? collects Luther live at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland from 1976 to 1994. The songs are straight-ahead blues set afire by Luther’s ferocious soloing and soulful singing. He pays his dues to Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and Otis Rush as well as covering songs from his own recent albums. If you like his current R and B-laced albums, you’ll love this remembrance of things past.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’96 issue.