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|Wander This World
Lowest new price: $4.69
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JONNY LANG - WANDER THIS WORLD - CD
One would think that jumping into the pop-rock marketplace after being branded a blues player might confuse a 17-year-old guitar whiz. No way. Jonny Lang, with the lucid advice of ace producer David Z, understands the role of the blues as solid ground for someone who wants to take flight with intelligent, well-crafted music that has a wide audience. His second album's strengths lie with his gruffly appealing singing voice and his lean, razor-edged guitar phrases. The material is solid, with songs that range stylistically from the ingratiating funk number "I Am" (a hitherto unrecorded David Z and Prince composition), to the it-sure-sounds-like-a-rock-hit "Still Rainin'" (complete with thunderous chords and soulful female backup singers), to a griddle-hot take on the late Chicago blues guitarist Luther Allison's "Cherry Red Wine." All 12 songs are of a piece, tied together by Lang's unassailable musical integrity and his freshness of vision. And R&B master guitarist Steve Cropper is on hand in the Minneapolis recording studio to insure the soulful vibe. --Frank- John Hadley
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Brand: Muddy Waters
Muddy returned to his acoustic roots on this 1964 LP, expanded with five bonus tracks from Muddy's next two Chess sessions!
Muddy Waters started out playing acoustic blues in the Delta, and it shows on this return to his roots, designed to appeal to the mid-1960s surge of interest in folk music. The back of the CD includes a photo of Waters with bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon, as well as a very young Buddy Guy, gathered around a single microphone. This particular CD reissue includes five bonus tracks, among which are "The Same Thing" and "Short Dress Woman," which take advantage of the longer CD running time. All of the other reasons to hear this one remain--Waters's strong, confident voice, the relaxed smoothness of the material, and the surprisingly clean recording, made even cleaner by the digital remastering. --Genevieve Williams
Lowest new price: $6.47
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The King Of The Blues celebrates his 80th Birthday later this year, and Universal kicks off a year long celebration with the most complete single disc B.B. King collection ever. The Ultimate Collection collects B.B.'s legendary hits and signature songs between 1951 and 2000, from his first hit, 'Three O'Clock Blues' to his recordings with Eric Clapton and U2. MCA. 2005.
B.B. King's music has been anthologized and put in box sets many times, but this is the first single-disc collection that truly spans the American icon's career. It starts with his breakthrough 1951 No. 1 R&B hit "Three O'Clock Blues" and ends, chronologically, with 2000's "Ten Long Years" from his platinum-selling, pop-chart-topping smash collaboration with Eric Clapton, Riding with the King. In between there are 19 numbers that trace King's creative peaks (1969's "The Thrill is Gone," 1960's "Rock Me Baby") and valleys (1973's disco-inspired "I Like to Live the Love"). And they all tell the story of his growth as a performer. As the years and tunes tumble by, King's guitar solos become more expansive and adventurous, and his cross-genre experiments, like 1987's "When Love Come to Town" with U2, grow bolder. "I'll Survive," also featured here, has become King's late-career theme song, but as he heads toward his 80th birthday on September 16, 2005--still playing 150 concerts a year with his vastly influential guitar skills sharp and his voice just a bit weathered--King's version of survival contains genuine majesty. --Ted Drozdowski
|Lie To Me
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Brand: Lang, Jonny
Jonny Lang cut his debut album in Memphis when he was just 15, and, upon its release in 1996, the guitar prodigy from Minneapolis instantly became one of the leading lights of modern blues. He's a fast and flashy player whose approach rests equally on technical assurance and musical intelligence. Sizing up a dozen songs, he gets a pleasing, razor-sharp sound out of his ax while building excitement in his lead lines--thankfully, he steers clear of cliché and bombast. As a fledging singer, he acts out the lyrics of Ike Turner's age-old shuffle "Matchbox" and his own romantic ballad "Missing Your Love" with surprising poise and believability. Kudos to producer David Z for surrounding Lang with alert, first-rate sidemen and for helping select good material from Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tinsley Ellis, and others. --Frank-John Hadley
|The Definitive Collection
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One of the greatest blues musicians of all time, Muddy Waters is still pulling new fans into the blues today, more than two decades after his death. His visibility seems to increase, rather than fade, with the passing years, and though the Viagra commercial that used I'm Ready as its backing track made some blues purists wince, it nevertheless made its point. In 2002 author Robert Gordon published his definitive full-length biography of Muddy, called I Can't Be Satisfied (Little, Brown); the following year Gordon produced a documentary with the same title which aired on public television. Muddy's songs continue to be covered, not only by today's up and coming young blues bands, but by rock and pop artists as well, keeping his name and music before successive generations of fans.
Lowest new price: $5.95
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2001 collection of modern guitar-based Blues including cuts from legends such as Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent Blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.
A good introduction to modern guitar-based blues, Pure Blues features classics by Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. While attributing classic status to Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" may chafe some purists, this comp clearly wasn't intended for the die-hard blues fanatic. But as an introduction, it illustrates the blues tradition and its influence on rock (and rock's influence on the blues) quite nicely. For fans of the Allman Brothers (whose version of Blind Willie McTell's classic "Statesboro Blues" is included) or Eric Clapton's work with Derek & the Dominos or for dad at Christmas, this would make a good gift. Also, if this manages to inspire anyone to pick up Etta James's classic Tell Mama set, the folks at UTV will have done the world a service. --Mike Johnson
|Born Under A Bad Sign [Stax Remasters]
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Brand: King, Albert
The Rock-n-Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist's most celebrated album re-mastered and expanded with 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks!
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Lowest used price: $2.90
Brand: BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
One of the greatest guitar albums of all time and a real '60s classic, with Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield trading licks on the mind-bending title cut in particular.
If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds. --Steve Stolder
|B.B. King - Greatest Hits
Lowest new price: $4.99
Lowest used price: $1.87
This is a lot of blues for a single disc-16 of B.B.'s essential recordings, including The Thrill Is Gone; I Like to Live the Love; To Know You Is to Love You; Paying the Cost to Be the Boss; Chains and Things; Hummingbird; Don't Answer the Door; How Blue Can You Get?; Every Day I Have the Blues (Live) , and seven more.
|Hoochie Coochie Man (2LP Gatefold 180g Vinyl) - Muddy Waters
Lowest new price: $19.49
Lowest used price: $26.66
2LP Gatefold, 180Gram.
- Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
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