Hubert Sumlin was Howlin' Wolf's guitar player for 23 years, and his jagged, desperate, and angular guitar playing was a big part of Wolf's rough-and-tumble sound. This album was recorded in October 1986 at Newbury Sound in Boston, 11 years after Wolf's death, and although Sumlin had headlined some European albums, it was to be his debut solo album in the U.S. The sessions were initiated and put together by guitarist Ronnie Earl, who arranged for the presence of an all-star band, and brought in Mighty Sam McClain to handle most of the vocals, since Sumlin was notoriously reticent about occupying center stage. The result was really more of a jam session than anything else, and Sumlin doesn't really assert himself on any of these tracks, although his hesitant, soft, and fragile vocal on "How Can You Leave Me, Little Girl?" gives the song a real poignancy that manages to overcome the banal lyrics. There was nothing shy about McClain's singing, however, and he grabs the vocal microphone on four of the songs, including the strong opening track, a version of Willie Dixon's "Hidden Charms." Originally released on LP in 1987 by Black Top Records, Hubert Sumlin's Blues Party has a loose, fairly generic sound, and a case could be made that Sumlin wasn't quite ready yet for a solo career. Still, the album has its charms.
The Blues Masters series, much to Rhino`s credit, adopts an expansive definition of blues, allowing the likes of Count Basie, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters and even Louis Prima admission. There is none of the purist`s quibbling over strict 12-bar form or the relative significance of prewar and postwar styles.
What Rhino delivers instead is the blues in all its myriad guises. This music is old and new, black and white, acoustic and electric, folksy and jazzy, performed by women and men, and yet it is all still blues at its core.
The House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas hosted a reunion concert of the classic Santana lineup on March 21. The performance featuring Carlos Santana (guitar), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums) onstage together for the first time since 1973 was recorded for an officially produced entitled Santana IV: Live At The House of Blues Las Vegas…
Digitally remastered two-fer containing a pair of Chess Records albums from the Blues great: 1966's Muddy, Brass And The Blues and 1973's Can't Get No Grindin'. Muddy, Brass And The Blues was a massive undertaking in direction which a couple of years later John Mayall.
Two classic Hooker LPs, all digitally re-mastered, 22 solid slabs of dark, leathery, brooding nostalgia. This is the electric blues at its very roots. If there’s still anyone out there reading this magazine who hasn’t at least one Hooker album in their collection, then you’re still a long way from qualifying as a blues aficionado. So this is a good place to start. This stripped-bare, one man and a growling electric guitar (on most tracks) music is the stuff those guys who fled the south for the auto production lines in the north used to listen to.