Before Gate was able to rebuild a following stateside, he frequently toured Europe. He recorded the contents of this inexorably swinging set in France in 1973 with all-star backing by keyboardists Milt Buckner and Jay McShann, saxists Arnett Cobb and Hal Singer, among others. Brown indulges his passion for Louis Jordan by ripping through "Ain't That Just like a Woman" and "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens" and exhibits his immaculate fretwork on the torrid title item.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was one of the most jazz-oriented of bluesmen, a colorful guitarist and a primitive but swinging fiddler. On this release he includes many instrumental sections in his performances including four all-out boppish jazz jams ("Digging New Ground," "C-Jam Blues," "The Peeper" and the stomping "We're Outta Here"). Brown's vocals, which feature consistently intelligent lyrics ("Better Off With The Blues" is particularly memorable), are part of the music rather than the entire show; he even gives his obscure backup horns chances to solo. The set is a particularly strong example of Gatemouth Brown's music with each of the 11 selections (except perhaps for "I Will Be Your Friend," a poppish vocal duet with Michelle Shocked) being well worth hearing.
A trio of great affection, already experienced in the past with another successful record job, this time Max Ionata, Clarence Penn and Reuben Rogers are working on an original record project using the formula of the trio.
This special collector's edition contains 29 remastered recordings by Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, consisting of a selection of the magnicent early sides released between 1947 and 1960 on the Peacock and Aladdin record labels. Several of his most famous songs and enduring singles are featured on this quintessential CD, including “Dirty Work at the Crossroads,” “Midnight Hour,” “Just Before Dawn,” and “Okie Dokie Stomp,” among others. It is truly an indispensable set for any blues and R&B devotee.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was 74 when he recorded American Music, Texas Style, and the Texas bluesman made it clear that he still had plenty of energy. On this CD, Brown really emphasizes his love of jazz. Young hard bop players like trumpeter Nicholas Payton and alto saxman Wes Anderson are on board, and the veteran singer/guitarist offers no less than three standards from Duke Ellington's repertoire ("I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and son Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be") and two classics from Charlie Parker's years with Jay McShann ("Hootie Blues," "Jumpin' the Blues"). Meanwhile, the jazz influence is hard to miss on such fast jump blues as "Rock My Blues Away" and "Without Me Baby." Brown's voice is thinner than it used to be, but his guitar playing is as energetic as ever. While this CD isn't definitive, it's a good, solid effort that Brown can be proud of.