Battle of the Blues review…August 5, 2019…..

VARIOUS ARTISTS

BATTLE OF THE BLUES

CHICAGO VS. OAKLAND

DELTA ROOTS RECORDS  DR 1002

BROKE ASS MAN–MZ SUMAC  FUNNY HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY–ALDWIN LONDON  TAKE IT EASY and RED TIDE–FREDDIE ROULETTE  GOOD MORNING MR. BLUES–NAT BOLDEN  HIT AND RUN LOVER and ME AND MY GUITAR–JAMES NEWMAN  HURTIN’ ON YOU and MAMA DON’T WEEP–EMERY WILLIAMS, JR.  NOW THAT I’VE GONE and TIME SLIPPIN AWAY–MR. EXCITEMENT DEL BROWN  COLD IN THE STREETS–GERALD MCCLENDON  HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAMA–COUNTRY PETE MCGILL

When one thinks of cities associated with the blues, of course Chicago comes to mind, and we are only a few hours from Memphis.  However, Oakland, CA, out in the Bay Area, has long been a blues hotbed, now boasting the highest per capita of blues artists in the entire USA!!  Drummer and long-time bluesman Twist Turner spent time in both Chi-Town and Oakland, and realized there was a plethora of under-recorded yet well-deserving blues men and women who just needed a break in both camps.  He’s spent the last six years or so completing “Battle Of The Blues–Chicago VS. Oakland,” for Delta Roots Records, its sole purpose to give back to those deserving players needing an opportunity to show their stuff!

The talents herein are simply amazing, and how they all stayed so far under the blues radar is anyone’s guess.  Leading off, Sacramento-area blues woman MZ Sumac bemoans her “Broke Ass Man,” preferring one with “money,” and that absolute must-have, “Cadillac car!”  Aldwin London is a native of Oakland, and his ultra-smooth read of Willie’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” is made even sweeter thru Boom Brumbach’s sax.  Representing Chicago, Freddie Roulette offered up three unique cuts.  A lap steel master who jammed with Earl Hooker, he fires off two outstanding instrumentals, “Red Tide,” and “Take It Easy,” and backs the late Country Pete McGill in a fun, stop-time romp of “Hoochie Coochie Mama,”  Hey–she carries a pistol in her purse, and if you mess with her, you go home in a hearse!”

Another gent who identifies with the Chicago players, “Mr. Excitement” Del Brown was our favorite vocalist, as his style, tone, and delivery were reminiscent of another great singer and our good friend, the late former Metro Nashville Councilman and Excello artist, Roscoe Shelton.  Brown’s plaintive, upper-register vocals fit perfectly on his two ballads herein, “Now That I’ve Gone,” and his ode to coming to grips with aging, “Time Slippin’ Away.”

Twist Turner purposely left his name off the credits of “Battle Of The Blues–Chicago VS. Oakland,” preferring to allow the accolades to fall on those who deserved them most–the unsung heroes of two great blues Meccas!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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