Mutha Live! Black Oak Arkansas

Rating: 90%

R-380941-1297103126.jpeg.jpgIn 1976, Black Oak Arkansas released Mutha Live! It was recorded on Mother’s Day on 1975. This performance starts off with the bands most popular hit “Jim Dandy.” It also has a small collection of their other well known songs such as “Hot And Nasty.” 

For a live album, this is a really good performance on behalf of the band. The sound of the music is rich, rhythmic, and full. It’s always good to hear what a band sounds like once they are live. Some sound great, others not so great and B.O.A. sounds better to me, live than in the studio. 

With regards to the band, they sound solid and they are engaging with the audienceTommy Aldridge on the drums is throwing out some steady tempos. Thundering along on bass is Pat Daugherty and he is clearly heard and is not overshadowed by the guitars. Jimmy Henderson, Stan Knight, and Ricky Reynolds on guitars is what gives this band that full and rich sound. It’s heavy and distorted, but doesn’t take away any of the feel to the music. Then on vocals is the one and only James Mangrum who sounds like he is on top of his game. 

Track listing:

A1 Jim Dandy
A2 Fancy Nancy
A3 Lord Have Mercy On My Soul
A4 Cryin’ Shame
A5 Fever In My Mind
B1 Hey Ya’ll
B2 Rebel
B3 Taxman (George Harrison)
B4 Hot And Nasty

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Black Oak Arkansas: Black Oak Arkansas

Rating: 85%

BlackOakArkansas-BlackOakArkansas.jpgIn 1971, Southern Rock had gained another foothold on the music scene with the debut release of Black Oak Arkansas. This Folk and Psychedelic mixture meets Country and Rock.  It’s got banjos, steel guitar, and yes a washboard. This really made B.O.A. a truly unique sounding band. 

The musicianship is pretty tight. You have the whiskey drenched and the Howlin’ Wolf influenced vocal style of Jim Mangrum. I can honestly say, no other vocalist out there even some close to his style. You also have three guitarist, Rickie Reynolds, Harvey Jett, and Stanley Knight who thrown down some great leads, wacky rhythms, and riff. Among other instruments these guys play includes the banjo, piano, organ, and steel guitar. Bringing in the the support of harmony and rhythm as well as the tempos is bassist Pat Daugherty and drummer Wayne Evans. All members contribute to the vocals of the chorus and they are all in tuned with one another. 

Musically, it can be sloppy at times with the triple guitar attack and thunderous bass rhythms and leads all going into different directions. The fuzz and heavy toned leads are a great touch. But B.O.A. some how finds a way for this to work. Bus this style was new and the music scene needed something like this as music entered a new decade. The music other than that is very engaging, full, and rich. My personal favorites on this record are “Hot and Nasty”, “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul”, and “When Electricity Came to Arkansas.” These three songs are among the different. Meaning, the tempo, beats, rhythms, and sound are completely out there, especially on “When Electricity Came to Arkansas” which begins with a washboard and ends on a full fledged attack of electric instruments.

Track listing:

“Uncle Lijiah” – 3:17
“Memories at the Window” – 3:05
“The Hills of Arkansas” – 3:45
“I Could Love You” – 6:10
“Hot and Nasty” – 2:55
“Singing the Blues” – 2:17 (Melvin Endsley)
“Lord Have Mercy on My Soul” – 6:15
“When Electricity Came to Arkansas” – 4:26

More George Thorogood and The Destroyers: George Thorogood & the Destroyers

Rating: 85%

MoreGeorgeThorogood.jpgSo, 1980 saw George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers tearing up the scene with their style of Blues music. And the music was GREAT! However, I do take one issue with this album, the fact that George didn’t write any of the material on here. That’s my only complaint. But, the way the band covered these songs, they did so, in their own fashion. In other words they adopted the arrangements and made these songs their own. The final product is something that rocks as if every song was written by George Thorogood and his band. The sound is great from the over all sound of production down to the melodies. The instrumentation is great as well.

The band itself is playing really tight as if they are enjoying themselves. George’s style of slide guitar complete with those whiskey drenched vocals are damn near perfect on this album. He really knows how to make that guitar scream with that slide. The work of bassist Bill Blough and drummer Jeff Simon is again like most albums outstanding. Top that off with a rhythm horn of Hank Carter’s saxophone and you have on hell of a good record. But that is all you have, is a good record and not a great record.

So, with George Thorogood, you have to give a little in order to take a little. Good songs, done in good style, but not George’s own songs.

Track listing:

1.”I’m Wanted” (Willie Dixon) – 4:05

2.”Kids from Philly” (George Thorogood) – 2:30

3.”One Way Ticket” (John Lee Hooker) – 4:33

4.”Bottom of the Sea” (McKinley Morganfield) – 3:30

5.”Night Time” (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) – 3:03

6.”Tip On In” (James Moore) – 3:01

7.”Goodbye Baby” (Elmore James) – 4:18

8.”House of Blue Lights” (Don Raye, Freddie Slack) – 3:03

9.”Just Can’t Make It” (Hound Dog Taylor) – 3:03

10.”Restless” (Carl Perkins) – 3:14

 

 

Live At Leeds: The Who

Rating: 100%

The_who_live_at_leedsOne of my favorite guitarists is Pete Townshend. Just something about his style that can’t be matched by no other. One can not compare him to Jimmy Page or Ritchie Blackmore. Because all of them are talented, brilliant, and and can throw down chords like no tomorrow. With that being said, I picked up this live performance by the The Who at R.I.P. Records for $8.00 in almost mint condition.

The overall sound is really amazing. Each instrument sounds great. The music has a lot of rich melody and harmony. The rhythm section is so talented and sounds very heavy at times. Lot’s of great tempos as well. The Who were always ahead of the times when it came to their style as well as their sound.

The musicianship is really good as well. Roger Daltrey has a great voice and is full of energy. He is a good example of what a frontman should be during performances. Pete Townshend again, is fantastic. He knows how to throw those riffs down and his leads are amazing. Bringing in the harmony of the music is bassist John Entwistle. His leads and bass lines are top notch. Throwing down on the skins and keeping tempo is the one and only Keith Moon on drums. 

If you really want to hear how these bands really sound, you got to get their live performances. Those performances showcases the band without dubs and editing. Every song on here showcases how great this band is, including the two covers  “Summertime Blues” and “Shakin’ All Over.”

Side one
1. “Young Man Blues” 4:46
2. “Substitute”  2:10
3. “Summertime Blues”  3:22
4. “Shakin’ All Over”  4:20

Side two
1. “My Generation” 14:45
2. “Magic Bus” 7:57

Neil Young: Neil Young

Rating: 85%

Neil_Young_(album)_cover.jpgIn 1969, Neil Young fresh out of Buffalo Springfield, went into his own direction releasing his debut solo record. So, I purchased this record for .25 thinking that I was getting the “After the Gold Rush” vinyl. I was surprised to see that this was in it when I got home. Nonetheless, it was a Neil vinyl that I didn’t have.

Musically, this album sees Neil Young learning how to fly. It’s rooted in Folk and Country Rock influences with a touch of the Psychedelic sound to this guitar. It’s an extension of the former Buffalo Springfield sound. Highlights include the “I’ve Been Waiting for You”, “The Old Laughing Lady”, “The Last Trip to Tulsa”, and “What Did You Do to My Life?”.

This album was a flop upon it’s release, but Neil Young a few months later, would release one of the all-time greatest albums with his new backing band Crazy Horse. Although, a flop, this album is very important as it marked the beginning for Neil Young’s career, and very long career at that.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “The Emperor of Wyoming” 2:14
2. “The Loner” 3:55
3. “If I Could Have Her Tonight” 2:15
4. “I’ve Been Waiting for You” 2:30
5. “The Old Laughing Lady” 5:58
Side two
6. “String Quartet from Whiskey Boot Hill” (Jack Nitzsche) 1:04
7. “Here We Are in the Years” 3:27
8. “What Did You Do to My Life?” 2:28
9. “I’ve Loved Her So Long” 2:40
10. “The Last Trip to Tulsa” 9:25

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