Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Houston Ghetto Blues
Genres: Blues, Pop
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Undeservedly ignored, unique blues recording
happydogpotatohead | New Orleans, LA USA | 09/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the current trend for "sacred steel," it's interesting to hear steel guitar from the "other side of the tracks." Hop Wilson apparently didn't like touring, and spent most of his musical career playing in Houston, Texas. The recordings featured here are pretty much his entire output. But what an output it is. Hop's lap steel guitar playing is by turns wildly demented and plangently sweet, sometimes within the same phrase. The lap steel adds a different tonal color to the proceedings, and Wilson has a terrific singing voice, perfect for blues, with a mournful edge even on the faster numbers. Drummer Ivory Lee Semien and an unknown vocalist take the mike on two other numbers, but I prefer Wilson's own singing, though they do a fine job.The "recorded in a bar at midnight" ambience, combined with the occasional amp crackle and buzz, gives you that feeling of presence lost on many modern sanitized blues recordings. The band is loose but tight, and you get the feeling they are into what they're playing and know the material well.Professional blues critics have compared Hop Wilson to Elmore James, but I frankly don't hear it except on "Be Careful With The Blues," where Wilson lifts the "Dust My Broom" riff and makes it his own in an instrumental. Wilson is less frenetic than James, and throws a lot more variety into his music. As much as I love Elmore James, a lot of his material relied on that "Dust My Broom" riff and stayed in the same key. Wilson has no such limitations.Overall this is a great, downhome, funky recording of a little-known and underappreciated bluesman. I would recommend it highly to anyone who appreciates the real live blues."
This album is a must for slide guitar blues listners.
happydogpotatohead | 05/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The late Hop Wilson is heard at his best on this album. For all blues enthusiasts, and particularly for those who appreciate slide guitar, Hop Wilson tells it like it is. I first heard of Hop Wilson mentioned on the award-winning album, "Showdown" which teamed up Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray. At the beginning of the cut "My Baby Got a Black Cat Bone," Albert Collins remarks, "Remember Hop Wilson? He used to lay that steel on his lap and sing, 'My Baby Got a Black Cat Bone." Hop's classic recording of that song is on this album along with many others. Every cut is worth hearing. Relatively few blues guitar artists use the lap steel guitar. Hop wrote the book. Once you've heard Hop Wilson, if you haven't already, also listen to Sonny Rhodes, a living blues man who also uses lap steel on many of his tunes."