Damn Straight We’ve Got the Blues

Various artists

This carefully curated 60-track, digital-only compilation draws deeply from the catalogs of New West and Antones Records as well as New West’s “Live from Austin” series. The focus? Blues numbers from a swath of blues, folk, soul and country artists. 

Guitar masters are especially prominent. Along with Buddy Guy covering Guitar Slim’s “The Things I Used to Do,” Otis Rush reprises “Double Trouble,” and Albert Collins explodes on “My Woman Has a Black Cat Bone.” 

Ronnie Earl’s “Linda” projects relaxed intensity, while Jimmy Rogers smokes through a live “Chicago Bound.” Susan Tedeschi excels on “Hampmotized Blues.” Doug Sahm’s “T-Bone Shuffle” was a staple of his live shows, and Gatemouth Brown unspools a loose, swinging “Bits and Pieces.” Tony Joe White delivers a live “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Sue Foley’s primitive, Delta-based “Gone Blind” stands in stark, arresting contrast with nearly every other performance.

The country material reflects similar high standards. Rodney Crowell is well-represented by the powerful, acoustic-driven “East Houston Blues.” Buddy and Julie Miller offer the country-tinged “What You Gonna Do Leroy” and Canadian singer Corb Lund excels on the relentless, driven “Counterfeiters’ Blues.” Roy Buchanan’s extended live “Hey Joe” stands as yet another monument to his virtuosity and enduring popularity.

This article originally appeared in VG March 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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