Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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Solid blues for the purists
Nobody important | 12/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a reissue of Sonny's first solo recordings. While his later albums tend to sound like a redneck David Lindley (by the way, I consider that a compliment), this one is pretty solid straight-ahead blues, for those who are into that. It has a mix of the New Orleans sound, the Delta sound, and a bit of the Chicago sound, each of which is done masterfully. It is, however, largely straight blues, switching styles from track to track rather than blending within compositions, and I grew a bit bored with straight blues years ago. On a few tracks of this album, you can hear Sonny's brilliance as one of the shining stars of slide blues guitar, but too often, his playing is buried underneath a few too many backing musicians (although I must admit, I have a bit of a minimalist streak in my tastes, so take this complaint with a grain of salt). More importantly, most of the tracks on this album aren't quite as smooth a blend of blues, cajun/creole and country rock as you hear on masterpieces like South of I-10 and Levee Town. Blues purists will love this album, and should buy it immediately. Sonny really is one of the best blues musicians around, and when stripped down to the blues basics, he can put the best around to shame. If you are looking for the genre-bending genius of South of I-10 and Levee Town, don't expect to find it here. Other musicians to check out if you are into genre-bending blues: as mentioned above, David Lindley, who blends slide blues, rock, reggae and an odd assortment of other forms; Corey Harris (particularly on Greens from the Garden) does a unique blend of blues and cajun; Tony Furtado (particularly on Roll My Blues Away, and if you can find it, his latest self-titled album) blends masterful slide blues, banjo bluegrass, Celtic, folk and some jazz; Chris Whitley (particularly Dirt Floor) has an almost completely original and gripping vision of acoustic blues; and my personal favorite, Kelly Joe Phelps (particularly Roll Away the Stone, and Shine-Eyed Mister Zen) is the most amazingly skilled slide guitarist I have heard in years, and plays blues songs that are structured like jazz improvisations."