Rest in Peace Allen Toussaint
Marvellous - I remember Luther from a much earlier KingCake Compilation and now I have TWO albums-worth to dig into.Thanks, man - much appreciated.
Forty years ago I worked the night shift while attending college and would drive on Friday nights to a neighboring state between the hours of 12:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Fortunately the monotony of the drive was broken up by cheap coffee and a great Friday night only three-hour blues show on public radio. Apparently blues lovers are insomniacs or, at a minimum, night owls, which was okay by me because I could fit in either category. The host would cover all the decades and artists of the blues and one of her favorite modern blues musicians was Luther Allison. He soon became one of mine. Like Lazz, I have the earlier le Roi post and other sundry recordings I've picked up over the years but I definitely appreciate these two because I haven't replaced much of my well worn (actually overly worn and ridiculously aged and neglected) vinyl collection because I'm too monetarily deprived to fork over beaucoup bucks for a decent needle to listen to albums that were recorded between the 1950s and 1980s, yet sound like they were 78 gramophone recordings, or spend my meager funds to replace them with compact discs. Sadly, I have learned that holding the albums, staring at the covers, and hoping the sounds can be absorbed through osmosis just doesn't work. What I regret is had I discovered this and other blues and soul blogs earlier, the kids might have eaten better during their youth. Priot to blogs such as this, we all had to make difficult choices and frankly, when considering feeding the kids or buying records, music won out because I really enjoy listening to artists such as Allison all, rather than some, of the time. Thanks, le Roi.
Luther is a fascinating study - when you think of it he is doing exactly what all the British and American kids were doing (coping the older guys riffs; in his case BB and Albert King with a touch of Hendrix),and with better singing and playing chops than most, but where others made millions, he worked hard to his dying day. He got his shot with the Mowtown records, which is more than his peers got...but in the end his studio work was uneven and pretty derivative. He was at his best as a live performer, but if someone were to claim that there is nothing original about him, it would be hard to argue. A high grade 'B' team guy at the end of the day.
Couldn't agree more KC - But this live album is a good honest gutsy Blues outing - Just had a listen and it's worth keeping for sure Cheers
I have to be honest; some of my favorite blues men and women were mere journey men and women. They may have been derivative but they made listening to the blues live very affordable when seeing the big names live soared way out of my price range. As an example, I was living in Dallas when Zuzu Bollin was rediscovered. He recorded "Texas Bluesman", which I promptly bought, and sadly he died the following year just as he was garnering renewed attention in the Metroplex area. So I suppose he's returned to obscurity but I enjoyed and still enjoy the recording. On the other hand, many of my friends loved Cotton and Butterfield, but I was never a huge fan of either although I recognized their talent. In my uninformed opinion, musicians like Allison, and even Cotton, were usually better live than on a recording but, to their credit, they kept playing and recording after the 1960's blues revival among white youth in this country went cold before the next generation of musicians like Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', Gary Clark, Jr., Shemekia Copeland, and Otis Taylor began cutting their teeth. I am grateful Allisom and his like slogged from club to club, provided a bridge between eras and, through their borrowings and appropriation from others, kept styles and techniques alive and live. Maybe I've become old, cranky, and weary of the plethora of white blues rock bands that dominate many blues blogs nowadays or the slavish imitators who appear to want to keep the genre in an airless vacuum bottle and don't innovate in the way that those artists we all acknowledge as great did decades ago. Just one lad's biased opinion, of course, and all are welcome to disagree. Again many thanks for Mr. Allison.
Nice one, KC! (yep, new computer!)