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Gil W. (gil) from ROBINSON, IL
Reviewed on 6/22/2006...
Great representative of the Kansas City Blues sound
Elmore Jaimz | Burnsville, Minnesota United States | 06/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've listened to harp players and singers for forty years, and many of the great ones have passed on. Some of my favorites are Little Walter, Sonny Boy (Rice Miller), and George Smith. Fantastic players who are still kicking are Charlie Musselwhite, Rod Piazza, Sugar Blue, and many others, too numerous to mention. I first heard Lee McBee on some of the Black Top blues compilation cd's (I bought 'em because they were about $5 each, in the bargain bin).
In my opinion, Lee McBee is the best combination singer/harp player alive.
It seems like it's real tough to excel at both. For example, Little Walter: a technically brilliant and fantastically innovative harp player, but just an OK singer with a fairly nondescript voice. Same with Rod Piazza: THE greatest living harp player, but with a "white" voice. To me a great blues singer needs to sound--not to be racist--"black". His voice must be somewhat rough, tough, "lived in", maybe somewhat gravelly or clotted. Not too thin or high. You either have it or you don't: it's tough to develop it (example: 17-year old Stevie Winwood with the Spencer Davis Group way back in the sixties: we all thought he was black!).
Harpists aside, to me the best singers are people who sound like they have lived the blues: Omar of the Howlers, Wilson Pickett, Buddy Guy, Greg Allman, Delbert McClinton. That's just me.
Lee McBee is right up there with all of the others. He has that kind of voice, with a real nice kind of Texas twang to it. He can blow the lid off the joint with his harp. I cannot understand why he is not more recognized. He is absolutely fantastic. Listen to anything you can find from him. There are plenty of good sides with Mike Morgan and the Crawl. But it's real easy to see that the best tunes on those disks are the ones featuring Lee's singing and his amplified harp, the basic shuffle blues, nothing fancy.
In this album, he is up front on all the songs, and the record is that much stronger for it."
Good "Texas" style blues CD
Elmore Jaimz | 02/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lee McBee and The Passions first album "44" is a very good "Texas Blues" CD. The talent on this CD is amazing.
I have listen to Lee McBee when he recorded with Mike Morgan
and was immediately impressed by he's unique singing voice
which is perfect for the blues. Upon hearing McBee's first solo
effort, I was happy to hear that he is playing the same "Texas" style of blues that he did with Mike Morgan. If you like this style of blues, you'll like this CD.