Here's a disc that will satisfy fans of postwar blues. Jimmy Morello and his hot band cook up a smorgasboard of blues delights covering different styles from the '40s and '50s, all with enthusiasm and authenticity. They pay homage to Roy Brown and Big Joe Turner's jump blues and Ike Turner's down-in-the-alley strolling blues, just to mention a couple. Each of the 12 songs (all originals) is strong, and everybody digs in. Morello loves to shout, and he's quite good. He does a credible imitation of Turner on one cut. Almost all of the lead guitar work is handled with aplomb by the talented Alex Schultz. He's one of the most tasteful guitarists around and is always a pleasure to listen to. The band is fleshed out on some cuts by the Almighty Horns, who fill out the sound and help create that tasty postwar ambience. A fine disc all-around.
A pair of albums from the overlooked George Hamilton IV – back to back on a single CD! First up is Abilene – a seminal album from the great George Hamilton IV – a richly-voiced singer on 60s RCA, and one who was maybe a key link between Nashville and some of the folk boom of the time! George's music is definitely country, but it's also got maybe some of the younger appeal of the other scene – still given some of the RCA polish that Chet Atkins could bring, but delivered with a voice that might have been equally at home in a coffee house. Titles include the classic "Abilene", plus "The Little Lunch Box", "The Everglades", "Tender Hearted Baby", "Jimmy Brown The Newsboy", and "Come On Home Boy".