I AIN’T LYIN’
UNDER THE RADAR MUSIC GROUP
GOOD BLUES TONIGHT–DONE SOMEBODY WRONG–LONG LEAN LANKY MAMA–ALWAYS BEEN YOUR FRIEND–IF I SHOULD HAVE BAD LUCK–MY KINDA GAL–BLUES, WHY DO YOU WORRY ME?–300 MILES TO GO–LONG LEG WOMAN–CRISTO REDENTOR–GOOD BLUES TONIGHT (UNEDITED)
A new album from harp master Charlie Musselwhite is always a cause for celebration, and his latest, “I Ain’t Lyin,” is an anniversary of sorts. Charlie’s very first album, “Stand Back!–Here Comes Charlie Musselwhite’s South Side Band” was released in 1966, and he’s still goin’ strong, some fifty years further on up the road.
On “I Ain’t Lyin,” Charlie recorded part of it live, at the Valley Of The Moon Festival in Sonoma, CA, in September, 2014, and the rest at the Clarksdale Soundstage studio in December, 2014. He touts this band as one of his strongest ever, with June Core on drums, Steve Froberg on bass, and Matt Stubbs on guitar.
They kick off with a rhum-boogie invitation to “Come on in, we got Good blues Tonight,” which also closes the set in a slightly longer (and a bit more risque’!) version. Charlie blows that killer riff from “Done Somebody Wrong” for all it’s worth, as “my baby done caught that train and gone!” He gets into a deep slow-blues groove on the poignant “Always BeenYour Friend,” and simply nails one of our favorites of his many instrumentals, the quietly-pastoral “Cristo Redentor,” translated as “Christ The Redeemer.”
The freight-train-rolling-outta-the-Delta-night backbeat of “My Kinda Gal” has Charlie bustin’ out many of his signature licks, and Matt gets in some fine solos, also. They do it again a bit later on the funky groove of “Long Leg woman,” with “legs as long as a summer day.”
Our favorite was from one of Charlie’s earlier albums, and it’s a monster. He blows a hard-driving, traveling boogie shuffle on “If I Should Have Bad Luck,” singing that “since I know you love me, your love will keep me going,” from Memphis on down to Clarksdale!
Charlie Musselwhite has won a Grammy, with Ben Harper on “Get Up!” from a few years back. He’s played at the Great Wall Of China, and he’s played with all the greats, from Muddy to Buddy and Walter to Wolf. As he proudly sings in “I Ain’t Lyin,” he’s “gonna play these blues ’til the last deal goes down!” Amen, Charlie!! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.