Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rockin the Blues
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Very inaccurate title; 2 1/2 stars
J. C Clark | 10/02/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I first developed an interest in Little Milton after hearing two of his hard-edged songs on NetRadio.com from his Welcome to Little Milton guest star-filled, semi-tribute album. Those songs,featuring Gov't Mule as the backing band, really rocked and were excellent songs. I figured that with a title like "Rockin' the Blues" this collection would be similarly fast-paced. I was wrong. Milton and/or his record company were also wrong and downright misleading when they gave this compilation CD its name. There is no rock, blues rock, or even hard-edged blues guitar here, contrary to what the cover photo suggests.For background, I'll tell you that my favorite style of blues is guitar-based with an edge - a lot of blues rock. Luther Allison is/was my favorite blues guitarist. For me, powerful, crying guitars project the most emotion and have the most effect upon me. However, I also enjoy blues harp players ranging from James Cotton and Carey Bell to Matthew Skollar. Sometimes I can really get into piano-based blues such as the works of Marcia Ball, Pinetop Perkins or Sapphire. I enjoy hearing the artistry of individual musicians when they play.By and large, Rockin' The Blues is classic mid-50's blues in the style of BB King. If you like King's genre of sedate, mellow, somewhat sophisticated blues, pay attention to the substance of this review, not the number of stars I gave this album. If you enjoy that style of blues, you will likely enjoy the songs on this album, which do not significantly feature Milton's guitar playing or solos (at least ones that are longer than 10 seconds), but rather has more of a big band, blended together sound. I can appreciate the interaction of a single brass instrument or two (one of my favorite songs is the Stone's Can't You Hear Me Knockin' featuring Bobby Keyes outstanding sax playing), but in my opinion, the quickest way to water down a blues player's sound is to add a horns section. Milton has a very prominant horns section here, and they clearly overpower 95% of the guitar work on these songs. For me the overall result is some fairly bland music.Now for a surprising recommendation, considering my previous comments about my music tastes. It was very apparent to me from the first song that Milton's vocals are heavily influenced by soul and rhythm and blues, and it dawned on me that he sounded like a poorer version of my favorite blues singer, Mighty Sam McClain. If you liked Milton's voice, you absolutely will love McClain's singing, which, while superficially similar sounding to Milton's, is much richer, more emotional, more harmonious and deeper than Milton's singing. McClain's band is not guitar-heavy, but his guitarist does lay into some quiet, yet poignant solos. McClain's band features a few trumpets and saxes, as well as a Hammond B-3, much like Milton's band. The difference is that in McClain's music these extra instruments stand out when appropriate but do not overpower the rest of the instruments or singing, and each accompanies the overall sound without blending into a general big band sound. McClain's Soul Survivor best-of album is a good place to start, with Give It Up To Love being the standout track.To summarize, if you are into guitar-based, blues or blues rock, feel confident in skipping this CD. If you enjoy more of a classic style of blues, you have found a very decent value in this $... disk, but be sure to check out the similar but superior work of Mighty Sam McClain."
Short-time fan finds happiness
J. C Clark | Overland Park, KS United States | 11/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I only found Little Milton a few years ago, from a great 60s compilation package.Grits Ain't Groceries was the song there, and it is a delight--a classic 60's R&B song that rocks as well as moans. The rest of this CD is mostly up to the standard set by that wonderful tune. This is not hard-edged Chicago blues, (what my wife calls "toothless old man with a guitar" music). It certainly fits MY definition of this genre. You can't dislike this for not being what it isn't!Milton can sing, the band is great--especially those horns, the arrangements are hard-charging, and though the songs are hardly great poetry they are certainly worthy. And at this price, the very brief content (about 30 minutes total) and the absolute empty packaging (who is that playing organ? He's great!) are overlookable, if not forgiveable. It doesn't even tell me who composed these!But certainly worth it; plenty of pleasure throughout! If you like that B.B. King sound of the early 60s, these will fit the bill nicely."