The Original Wang Dang Doodle: The Chess Recordings & More: Willie Dixon

Rating: 90%

R-5974857-1407814728-3012.jpeg.jpgThis album of gems was released in 1995. It’s a collection of songs that are remarkable. Although, many of them I have already heard from Chuck Berry to Muddy Waters to the Doors and George Thorogood. Why have I heard them from all of these other performers? That’s because Willie Dixon wrote them. Many of them were hits.

There are two really good songs on here that left me speechless. The first is “Dustin’ Off The Bass.” This song along showcases how talented Willie Dixon was on the stand up bass. If you think his song “Bassology” is amazing, I think you’ll fall in love with the bass guitars on this track. This song alone, almost sounds as if Les Claypool wrote it. Which I bet he could’ve.  That’s how good it is.  Instead, this style of bass may have influenced Les instead. The other song is “Walking The Blues.” This song is more or less a spoken word to the sound of footsteps to the sound of Blues.

The rest of the songs are treasures. So, set back, get ready, and jam out or relax. I think you’ll be doing both. The only downside is, I wish I could hear these songs are they were recorded originally, and not remastered. I think that helps to loose the rawness of the music.

Track listing:

Wang Dang Doodle
So Long
Violent Love
Walking The Blues
Crazy For My Baby
This Pain In My Heart
Twenty-Nine Ways To My Baby’s Door
All The Time
Tail Dragger
Wrinkles
Weak Brain, Narrow Mind
It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace)
I Just Want To Make Love To You
Dustin’ Off The Bass

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Bad to the Bone: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 95%

George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_BoneSo, George T. only wrote three of the songs on this 1982 “Bad To The Bone” record. Who cares, right? Not when the other songs are done up in George Thorogood fashion and style. So grab a few beers and get ready for a party down memory lane.

So, it’s Blues mixed with dash of Country and Rock n’ Roll. Great mixture of genres for George Thorogood’s style of slide guitar. The way George adopts these songs from other artists and creates arrangements to suit his band is amazing. It’s got soul, it’s got talent, and it’s got swing. It’ll leave you thirsty for more.

The musicianship is very tight.  Billy Blough’s bass lines are very good. The drumming of Jeff Simon is good and the added saxophone by Hank Carter makes the music even more energized. You add that along with the whiskey drench vocals and the beer soaked style of the guitar, you have a true sound unlike any other. To this day, I still think that Thorogood is under rated and unappreciated by Rock n’ Roll. 

Track listing:

“Back to Wentzville” (George Thorogood) – 3:30
“Blue Highway” (Nick Gravenites, David Getz) – 4:44
“Nobody but Me” (The Isley Brothers) – 3:28
“It’s a Sin” (Jimmy Reed) – 3:32
“New Boogie Chillun” (John Lee Hooker) – 5:03
“Bad to the Bone” (George Thorogood) – 4:52
“Miss Luann” (George Thorogood) – 4:13
“As the Years Go Passing By” (Deadric Malone) – 5:03
“No Particular Place to Go” (Chuck Berry) – 4:00
“Wanted Man” (Bob Dylan) – 3:12

Move It On Over: George Thorogood Delaware Destroyers

Rating: 90%

220px-moveitonoverSo, I recently picked up George Thorogood’s second record, “Move It On Over” on vinyl released in 1978. I had forgotten how good this record was, even though, none of the songs were written by George himself. But, then again, the song arrangements are done in Thorogood fashion and are among some of his most popular hits. It was this record that made George Thorogood into what he became and what he is today.

The entire record flows so good and for me, at some points, I wish the album would just keep going. It just keeps on rocking! I love George Thorogood’s style of guitar picking and slide work which I think is becoming a lost art in today’s music word. I love his whiskey drenched vocal style as well. It’s raw, powerful and one of a kind. When you hear a George Thorogood song, you know it’s him.

The other musicians are great too. The musicianship is super tight. You can tell they are having fun while playing. Hammering along on the bass guitar is Billy Blough. Pounding on those drums is Jeff Simon. Then how can one go wrong with the name of Uncle Meat Pennington? Well he’s an added bonus as he plays the tambourine and maracas.

This album pays tribute to many of George Thorogood’s influences from Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon to Elmore James. The songs themselves are not written by George Thorogood as stated, but they are structured very well. His adoption and style as I mentioned, makes them his. George may not be good looking, but damn, he sure can play that guitar. He can adopt Country, Bluegrass,Blues and Rock n Roll and produce a style that is so unique. I personally can’t think of another guitarist who can do what George Thorogood does. The music that is produced on this record are raw and emotional. This record is just plain good ol’ Blues done in good ol’ Rock n’ Roll fashion. In fact, I think I’ll end up picking up my guitar and try to play along.

Track listing:

“Move It On Over” (Hank Williams) – 4:16
“Who Do You Love?” (Ellas McDaniel) – 4:15
“The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James, Morgan Robinson) – 5:09
“Cocaine Blues” (T.J. Arnall) – 2:48
“It Wasn’t Me” (Chuck Berry) – 3:54
“That Same Thing” (Willie Dixon) – 3:05
“So Much Trouble” (Brownie McGhee) – 3:15
“I’m Just Your Good Thing” (James Moore) – 3:29
“Baby Please Set a Date” (Homesick James Williamson) – 4:42
“New Hawaiian Boogie” (Elmore James) – 4:34

Blue Matter: Savoy Brown

Rating: 90%

Blue_Matter_(album).jpegIn 1969, “Blue Matter” by the British Blues band Savoy Brown was released. The band at the time was lead vocalist, pianist & and guitarist Chris Youlden, lead guitarist, harmonica, & pianist Kim Simmonds, guitarist Dave Peverett, bassists Tone Stevens & Rivers Jobe, drummer Roger Earl and pianist Bob Hall.

This record is outstanding! The melodies are prefect. The style of rock and blues put together on this record is mellow and relaxing. It’s like high class bar room music. You know the kind of music you want to hear while you’re smoking a cigarette and sipping whiskey. The song structures are complied nicely. There’s a certain raw edge to the overall songs themselves. One thing for sure, is that this record will have you stomping your toe and snapping your finger. The sound and overall quality of the music is good. Lot’s of guitar and piano scales. The tempos move at an even keel.

The musicianship is very tight. With all of the instrumentation, the overall feel is not overwhelming. Each musician seems to know his place and how to play the Blues comparable to that of John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters. The vocals are scorching hot. The guitars are ol’ so good. Especially on the hard hitting John Lee Hooker cover “Don’t Turn Me from Your Door.” Lot’s of great scales on each song. The leads are brilliantly conducted. Lot’s of deep tone and yes, there is a little fuzz tone with shrieking feedback. The bass is also something you’ll notice right away. The scales being used, the sound itself and how it compliments the guitars and drums is what really steals the show. The piano work is another thing you’ll notice. The piano really sets off the sound. It’s a nice added touch. The rhythm section of the horns is also worthy to note on the song, “Grits Ain’t Groceries.” The drum lines are out of this world. Lot’s of great tempos and good beats.

Highlights includes the song “Train to Nowhere.” It’s one of those songs that has a feeling that is real mellow and when you think it’s going to explode into something heavy, the song surprises you with mild melody with a great guitar solo. The last three tracks are recorded live and are among the heavier sounding Blues music that leaves you wanting more. They don’t make music that sounds like this anymore.

Track Listing:

“Train to Nowhere” – 4:12
“Tolling Bells”  – 6:33
“She’s Got a Ring in His Nose and a Ring on Her Hand” – 3:07
“Vicksburg Blues” – 4:00
“Don’t Turn Me from Your Door” – 5:04
“Grits Ain’t Groceries (All Around the World)” – 2:42
“May Be Wrong” – 7:50
“Louisiana Blues” – 9:06
“It Hurts Me Too” – 6:53