He was only 16 years old at the time of release, but you wouldn't know it from the way he plays guitar – this kid has the chops some seasoned professionals dream of, and has gained a lot of respect for them. The big problem comes when he opens his mouth to sing – he does a credible job of trying to nail down that rough blues vocal tone, but he more often than not sounds just like a kid trying to get to a grown-up voice. Meanwhile, his band is well-worn and the songwriting is definitely up to par.–by Steven McDonald
Kirkland's newest album has it all! He speaks, he croons, he wails! His guitar grooves are tight, funky, and soulful!
Bluesy, edgy songs as only Kirkland can master. Includes an acoustic tribute to longtime Detroit Blues Brother, John Lee Hooker……
Tab Benoit's funky, ragged blend of Louisiana swamp blues and East Texas guitar, with hints of funk, soul, and country thrown in to give the gumbo just the right spice, has served him well since he burst on the scene in the early '90s. Since Benoit hasn't essentially changed his sound since, this collection of sides made up largely from his early releases for Houston-based Justice Records (all of Benoit's Justice albums have been reissued by Vanguard Records in recent years) makes an ideal introduction to what this guy is all about, and although Best of the Bayou Blues covers a five-year span from 1992 to 1997, the tracks all fall together in a completely coherent sequence. Opening with the Benoit original "Voodoo on the Bayou" from 1992's Nice & Warm and running through several originals and some interesting covers (including country-funk takes on Hank Williams' "Jambalaya" and Willie Nelson's "Rainy Day Blues"), this set spotlights Benoit's southern Louisiana take on contemporary blues.
100 songs by the Blues' biggest names from the genre's golden period of 1920-1962. This set contains the artists and songs that changed the musical landscape forever and influenced almost everything that followed. This set comes with a 28 page illustrated booklet including discographical information and an essay about this fascinating subject. The perfect snapshot for anyone interested in the genre or those wanting to know how modern rock music was formulated.
With Bitter Sweet Blues, Gaye Adegbalola has produced an album that starts off where her work with Saffire the Uppity Blues Women left off, and jumps into a new, adventurous space. An expanded cast of musicians and more personal lyrics are some of the benefits to going solo, and Adegbalola makes use of both well. Each song has either humor or power, sometimes both. The only thing that seems incongruous is the mixture of songs with wildly varying moods and topics. While satirical woman-power songs like "Big Ovaries" are empowering and funny, when paired with "Nightmare" – a powerful, personal song about child molestation – the effect is somewhat gross. The feminist politics of both songs mesh rather well, but it is difficult for the listener to shift from laughing at bawdy sexuality to somber empathy in just a few tracks. Overall, though, this is a fine first solo effort that resonates with spirit and emotion.
To be indelicate about the matter: what exactly makes Big Cocksucker Blues different than plain old Cocksucker Blues, the legendary rarely-seen film of the Rolling Stones' 1972 tour? Well, while the original Cocksucker Blues has frequently been bootlegged since the pre-DVD era, this Big Cocksucker Blues has that 95-minute film and well over an hour of extras. The extra footage, you should know, does not contain Cocksucker Blues outtakes, but does offer a good amount of rare clips from 1967-1974 that should interest any hardcore fan of the Stones during this era…