Born To Be Bad: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 85%

BornToBeBadSo, many consider George Thorogood as a guy stuck in the same old rut and releasing the same old music since 1977. But, if he changed his style, everyone would’ve called him a sell out. So what would one expect? Well, you keep on keeping on with the boogie woggie music that you’re known for. “Born to be Bad” released in 1988 was no exception. Why sell out to the power ballads of the Hair Metal scene that was at it’s high-tide? George Thorogood’s own brand of the Blues and Rock n’ Roll is just that, it’s hard ass kicking music with attitude. George Thorogood never sold out his sound and his brand of music to make a buck.

This record never gets it’s due and that’s a shame. This record has some of the best Blues, R&B, County and Rockabilly music that came out in the late 1980’s. His slide work on the guitar is among the best of guitarist. Musically, the highlights are “You Talk Too Much”, “Born to Be Bad”, “Treat Her Right”, “I Really Like Girls”, and “I’m Movin’ On.” Although, the entire record is good.

The way he plays, is amazing. George Thorogood should be considered as among the best of the modern Blues and Rock guitarist, but hasn’t made the top 100 of any lists that I am aware of.

Track listing:

“Shake Your Money Maker” (Elmore James) – 3:29
“You Talk Too Much” (George Thorogood) – 4:35
“Highway 49” (Big Joe Williams) 49 – 5:46
“Born to Be Bad” (Thorogood) – 3:34
“You Can’t Catch Me” (Chuck Berry) – 3:45
“I’m Ready” (Sylvester Bradford, Fats Domino, Al Lewis) – 3:20
“Treat Her Right” (Roy Head, Gene Kurtz) – 3:32
“I Really Like Girls” (Thorogood) – 3:49
“Smokestack Lightning” (Howlin’ Wolf) – 3:15
“I’m Movin’ On” (Hank Snow) – 3:58

Bluenote Café, Neil Young and the Blue Notes

Rating: 100%

Neilyoungbluenote.jpgIn 2015, as part of Neil Young’s  Archives Performance Series released Bluenote Café. This is a two CD live performance of Neil Young and the Blue Notes in late 1987 through mid 1988.

This is one of my favorite Neil Young live albums. It is full of the Chicago Blues sound and classic Neil Young guitar. The song selection for this CD is great. It features some of the music from his past such as the almost 20 minute jam session of “Tonight’s the Night”, and the future “Freedom” album track “Crime in the City.” The album features most of the songs from his “This Note is for You” album which is what this live performance is supporting.

Musically, this album showcases the talent that Neil Young has not only as a songwriter, but as a musician as well. Although, you never know what Neil Young you’re going to get when he releases an album, but this project worked out well for him. The sound quality is suburb. Neil’s playing is great. He demonstrates that he can play just about anything on his guitar from Grunge, Folk, Rock, Country, to the Blues. This album does feature members of Crazy Horse, but their sound is place far into the background to as a rhythm section. But this allows the brass section to be heard more to the front of Neil’s solid bluesy sound.

Track listing:

Disc 1
“Welcome to the Big Room” (Recorded on location at Mountain View Theater, Mountain View, California – 11/7/87)
“Don’t Take Your Love Away From Me” (The Fillmore, San Francisco, California – 11/12/87)
“This Note’s for You” (The Palace, Hollywood, CA – 4/13/88)
“Ten Men Workin'” (The World, New York City, New York – 4/18/88)
“Life in the City” (The World, New York City, New York – 4/18/88)
“Hello Lonely Woman” (The World, New York City, New York – 4/18/88)
“Soul of a Woman” (The World, New York City, New York – 4/18/88)
“Married Man” (The World, New York City, New York – 4/21/88)
“Bad News Comes to Town” (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – 4/23/88)
“Ain’t It the Truth” (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – 4/23/88)
“One Thing” (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – 4/23/88)
“Twilight” (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio – 4/23/88)
Disc 2
“I’m Goin'” (CNE, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – 8/18/88)
“Ordinary People” (Lake Compounce, Bristol, Connecticut – 8/23/88)
“Crime in the City” (Jones Beach, Wantagh, New York – 8/27/88)
“Crime of the Heart” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“Welcome Rap” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“Doghouse” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“Fool for Your Love” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“Encore Rap” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“On the Way Home” (Poplar Creek Music Theatre, Hoffman Estates, Illinois – 8/16/88)
“Sunny Inside” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)
“Tonight’s the Night” (Pier 84, New York City, New York – 8/30/88)

Moanin’ In The Moonlight: Howlin’ Wolf

Rating: 100%

Howlin'_Wolf_Moanin'_in_the_Moonlight.jpgHowlin’ Wolf’s debut record Moanin’ In the Moonlight was originally released in 1959. This influential record is a must have for anyone who has a passion for the Chicago Blues.

Howlin’ Wolf sings with raw emotion, a preacher’s voice that put’s the fear of god in you. That voice is also one that everyone should recognize. His music has been featured in commercials and covered by other musicians. As a song writer, Howlin’ Wolf shows that he is a force to be reckoned with and is admired by his fellow Rock n’ Roll musicians.

The album opens with moaning that is followed by a strong group of great musicians. Willie Dixon on bass, Otis Spann and Ike Turner on the piano. The guitar work is absolutely brilliant. The drum to me is ahead of it’s time.

Highlights on this album. “How Many More Times” features a half distorted guitar, supported by Otis Spann’s hard hitting piano work. Earl Philips’ drum work is thunderous after the chorus lines. Howlin’ Wolf’s harmonica work is brilliant. “Smokestack Lightning” is a mellow tune that also showcases great musicianship. “Evil” really showcases the vocal talent of Howlin’ Wolf and the raw emotion in which he displays in his music. “I Asked For Water” is a another great song with a bit of humor in it. The song is mellow and yet, it’s a toe tapper.

I gave this record a 100% rating, simply, because it’s a must. There is no track on this record that is bad.

Track listing:

Side one

  1. “Moanin’ at Midnight” – 2:58
  2. “How Many More Years” – 2:42
  3. “Smokestack Lightnin'” – 3:07
  4. “Baby How Long” – 2:56
  5. “No Place to Go” – 2:59
  6. “All Night Boogie” – 2:12
Side two
  1. “Evil” – 2:55
  2. “I’m Leavin’ You” – 3:01
  3. “Moanin’ for My Baby” – 2:47
  4. “I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)” – 2:53
  5. “Forty-Four” – 2:51
  6. “Somebody in My Home” – 2:27

They Call Me Muddy Waters

Rating 80%

I have been a huge fan of the Delta Blues…and Muddy Waters was a huge part of that. McKinley Morganfield, known as Muddy Waters to me was one of the greatest blues guitarist and the most influential guitarist of all time. His musical and vocal style  can not be compared to any other. When you hear his voice, you know that it’s Muddy Waters. Musically, it’s raw, emotional and dark, but yet lively. Musically, Muddy Waters has influenced many artists. Some could say without Muddy Waters, there would be no rock n’ roll. On those hot summer nights, I would play Muddy Waters with my guitar by my side.

I love Muddy Waters’ slide work, his leads and his style of playing. He played from the heart and emotions. The feeling of real life experiences, one can pick up just by listening to his vocals.

I have several of his CDs that were released as collections or greatest hits, but nothing compares to what one would hear on vinyl. They Call Me Muddy Waters is a collections album released in 1977. It’s far from a best of or greatest hits collaboration, but if you’re a fan, then this album is worth to add to your collection.

Sound quality of the record is very good. It’s clean and crisp, which allows the listener to experience Muddy Waters for what he was and how it was meant to be heard. The one track on this record that most should recognize, if “Crawlin’ Kingsnake.” It’s been covered by many artist, including the Doors. Another song that many should recognize is “They Call Me Muddy Waters.”

Tracklist

When The Eagle Flies
Crawlin’ Kingsnake
County Jail
It’s All Over
Bird Nest On The Ground
They Call Me Muddy Waters
Find Yourself Another Fool
Kinfolk’s Blues
Making Friends
Blind Man
Two Steps Forward
Howling Wolf