Sugar Blue review…December 11, 2019….

SUGAR BLUE

COLORS

BEEBLE MUSIC  BB805

AND THE DEVIL TOO–BASS REEVES–WE;LL BE ALL RIGHT–(FEAT. AFRIKA RIZ)–DAY TRIPPER–GOOD OLD DAYS–DIRTY OLE MAN–MAN LIKE ME–SHANGHAI SUNSET (FEAT. LING BO)–DOWNHILL–BONNIE AND CLYDE–KEEP ON

Ok, folks…Dig deep into the CD players in your mind, and cue up the Rolling Stones and “Miss You,” from 1978.  That cool harp riff all thru it belongs to none other than Sugar Blue, who continues to be a powerful player in contemporary blues, and one of our favorite harp men that ever blew a note.  His latest is “Colors,” ten originals and a funkified cover of “Day Tripper,” making this set one of his most versatile.

Leading off, Blue gives the boot to a no-good lover, wishing her all the worst, in “God bless you, And The Devil, Too!”  The cool thing about this one?  It rides that ‘Diddley beat” all the way thru!   Blue shows off his storytelling chops on two cuts.  First up, it’s the story of a true American hero of the Old West, “Bass Reeves, the nemesis of any man on the wrong side of the law,” and the legend on which The Lone Ranger was based.  At the opposite end of the spectrum,  Max DeBernardi is on dobro as Blue and his harp explain the hard-luck beginnings of America’s most dangerous criminal duo, “Bonnie And Clyde.”

This set includes some fine examples of serene, uplifting songs, also.  “We’ll Be All Right,” features the collective voices of the Afrika Riz chorus, while Ling Bo works his magic on the traditional Chinese sheng on “Shanghai Sunset.”  The set closes with the empowering tale of continuing to fight for what’s right, “Keep On.”

OK—we picked the low-down dirty blues cut as our favorite.  Yeah, fellas, it is sho’ nuff hell gettin’ old, and Blue is all over it, praising the “little blue pills” and “going to See Alice,” in the hilarious bump-and-grind of “Dirty Ole Man,” a shot of Chicago blues at its fun-loving best.

The uniqueness of “Colors” is no doubt due to the four places in which this set was recorded, literally the four corners of the world.  Parts were done in Milan, Italy, Shanghai, Chicago, and (have you heard what is the word from) Johannesburg.  and Sugar Blue has created the most powerful and personal album of his illustrious career!  Blue, we love you, man!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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