Disclosure #1: I got this album for free
Disclosure #2: I like it!
A great selection of music that stands alone as a good collection of (mainly) blues songs.
Starting with 2 instrumentals that set the mood of the movie, I guess, “Honeydripper Lounge” (The Aces of Spades) swings like heck and “Tall Cotton” is a very moody piece with some great harp from Mike Turk. Then we have “No Matter How She Done It” by Mable John – a great piano based blues with even more great blues harp from Jerry Portnoy. The first of 2 gospel tracks comes next – “Standing By The Highway” by the New Beginnings Ministry. Not the strongest track on the album for me, but certainly no slouch either. Of course, blues wasn’t the only music being played around this era – illustrated here by the inclusion of Hank Williams “Move It On Over” – a great song wherever it is played.
We have an original 1941 recording next by Lil Green of “Why Don’t You Do Right?” a minor key blues with moody piano and guitar, and great vocals. Next comes one of the highlights so far – Keb’ Mo’ with “Stack O Lee” – a song that all blues fans know very well. This sounds so authentic it could have been recorded way back in the 40’s. Great work all round on guitar, harp and vocals from Keb.
Another gospel tune skips by before we get Danny Glover, one of the stars of the movie, giving us an authentic reading of “Goin’ Down Slow” accompanied only by the piano of Sonny Leyland.
Up next is a spooky little tune – “Bertha May” by Memphis Slim which sent shivers down my spine with the unusual accompaniment of celeste rather than piano.
Next comes the first of 3 tracks by Gary Clark Jr. – a very authentic, romping version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” A lively track, but for me the vocals didn’t sound quite right, though there is good guitar, harp and sax work on the track.
The next track by Clark – “China Doll” – is an original tune but still fits in with the vibe of the rest of the tracks. The last of these tracks is “Blue Light Boogie” and I have to say I was generally disappointed by these 3 tracks, Whilst they sound authentic in the context of this collection, and probably fit well in the movie (I haven’t seen it yet), they don’t live up to the hype of Gary Clark Jr. being described by Texas Music Magazine as “probably the most talented Texas guitarist since a certain SRV.”.
The great Barrence Whitfield actually shows how it should be done, I think, on the next track “Music Keeps Rollin’ On” – this had me tapping my feet and reaching for my guitar too.
We finish with Ruth Brown and “Things About Coming My Way” – another moody piece with great accompaniment on clarinet, trumpet and trombone.
All in all a pretty good collection – I like it and most of the tracks will certainly be in rotation on my iPod. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, too.