Blue Muse review…February 11, 2019…..

VARIOUS ARTISTS

BLUE MUSE

MUSIC MAKER RELIEF FOUNDATION  MMCD 198

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GROTTO SESSIONS-LA COLLEGIALE  SPIKE DRIVER BLUES–TAJ MAHAL  CAPTAIN LUKE–OLD BLACK BUCK  EDDIE TIGNER–ROUTE 66  I GOT THE BLUES–ALABAMA SLIM  ROBERT FINLEY–AGE DON’T MEAN A THING  POLLY PUT THE KETTLE ON–DOM FLEMONS  HAMBONE–JOHN DEE HOLEMAN  SNAP YOUR FINGERS–ALGIA MAE HINTON  I AM THE LIGHTNIN–WILLIE FARMER  D O C MAN–DAVE MCGREW  SWEET VALENTINE–MARTHA SPENCER AND KELLEY BREIDING  I WANNA BOOGIE–BOOT HANKS AND DOM FLEMONS  MISSISSIPPI BLUES–ERIC CLAPTON AND TIM DUFFY  LANDLORD BLUES–GUITAR GABRIEL  WIDOW WOMAN–DRINK SMALL  CABBAGE MAN–SAM FRAZIER JR.–SING IT LOUDER–CARY MORIN  LOOSE DIAMONDS–IRONING BOARD SAM  I KNOW I’VE BEEN CHANGED–THE BRANCHETTES  SOMETHING WITHIN ME–THEOTIS TAYLOR

The Music Maker Relief Foundation was formed in 1994 as a means to ensure that the heritage and music of the blues, gospel, and folk communities are passed along to future generations.  As such, it is both an honor and a privilege for us to review “Blue Muse,” a CD compilation of a robust twenty-one cuts that cover blues, folk, Americana, and gospel courtesy of a unique group of artists.

These artists come from ll walks of life, many with humble beginnings such as sharecroppers, would-be comedians, street performers, even a turpentine harvester!  And, there are also some of the most famous names in all the blues community herein, too.  But, they all have a sound and a feel for the deepest blues and the purest gospel, and share it freely on this set.

Highlights permeate this entire set.  Taj Mahal chimes in with the traditional sounds of “Spike Driver Blues,” where “this hammer shines like silver and rings like Klondike gold!”  The brilliantly-deep baritone of Captain Luke drives “Old Black Buck,” while Robert Finley channels his days as a street musician from Helena, AR,  into the deep-soul of “Age Don’t Mean A Thing,” with Jimbo Mathus on guitar.

It doesn’t get much deeper or primitive than John Dee Holeman, from Durham, NC, and his a capella, hand-clap-percussion-backed duet of “Hambone,” with Taj Mahal.  You can add Algia Mae Hinton to the cuts that embody raw, pure emotion, thru her original, made popular by Brook Benton, “Snap Your Fingers.”

We had two favorites, too.  Eric Clapton and Tim Duffy join forces for “Mississippi Blues,” an acoustic instrumental written by Willie Brown, while Eddie Tigner, former leader of The Ink Spots, is on vocal and piano on a “big band”-ish, Nat King Cole-inspired take on one of our all-time favorites, a swingin’  “Route 66,” with Paul Linden on harp.

The CD “Blue Muse” is intended to be the “soundtrack,” if you will, to the upcoming book, “Tim Duffy’s Southern Photographs,” featuring photos of many of these artists and the places they live and perform.  The music is strong, powerful, and emotion-packed, and a perfect complement to these iconic photos.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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