Search - Willie Dixon :: I Am the Blues

I Am the Blues
Willie Dixon
I Am the Blues
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Japanese reissue packaged in a limited edition miniature LP sleeve. CBS/Sony. 2004.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Willie Dixon
Title: I Am the Blues
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Release Date: 2/1/2008
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Styles: Chicago Blues, Traditional Blues, Electric Blues, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886972387222

Synopsis

Album Description
Japanese reissue packaged in a limited edition miniature LP sleeve. CBS/Sony. 2004.

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CD Reviews

10 stars if possible
Nebojsa Nikolic | Belgrade, Serbia | 11/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Frank John Hadley (the official reviewer)... What can I say - you're a very, very sick person. Healing yourself with the music won't do you any good now. What you need is a professional (medical) help - psychiatric treatments, deaf aid etc. Or at least consider the advantages of a suicide.
After so many versions that we heard from others, THE BOSS himself decided to show us what these songs should sound like. And that's it. Not to mention his part in song writing, producing and the powerful bass playing. What can I say regarding his voice? Pure energy... The guy clears his throat and it's as big as a house. The expression is one in a million.
Do I recommend this item? Absolutely. Just looking at the track list is a reason enough. Too bad nobody thought of doing the proper remastering to this day."
Willie the Legend
oldbluescat | Greensboro, NC | 03/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How can you give Willie Dixon less than five stars? The man has played on some of the greatest blues recordings in history and he has written some of the genre's most memorable songs. Recorded in Chicago during the summer of 1969, the album only features one third of the material recorded in that session. The band featured Johnny Shines on guitar, Walter "Shakey" Horton on harmonica, Clifton James on drums, either Sunnyland Slim or Lafayette Leake on piano, and of course Willie Dixon on bass and vocals. If you're looking for instrumental flash, this is not for you. However, Willie's deep growl is pleasant, it has a great beat, and every single song is a classic!"
4 stars. Terrific, superbly arranged electric blues by one
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 03/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Willie Dixon is best known as a songwriter, composer, arranger, producer, and session player for Chicago's Chess Records, but he also recorded occationally as a band leader. This 1970 LP is a collection of some of his 1960s Chess sides, including "Back Door Man", "The Little Red Rooster", and "Spoonful", and you can get most of his remaining Chess sides on the MCA-CD "The Original Wang Dang Doodle". But start with this one, because it is by far the best!

These songs are best known through men like Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Otis Rush, of course, but here they are as performed by the original composer himself. William James Dixon wasn't a singer of the caliber of Muddy Waters or the mighty Howlin' Wolf, but he had a pleasant baritone voice, and here he goes a long way towards making up for his lack of a really distinctive singing voice with his expressive phrasing and overall intelligent use of the vocal power that he does have.

The production is excellent, crisp and clear, and the drums bite harder than on many 50s and 60s blues sides without being obtrusive. And the band or bands backing Dixon are magnificent...I say "band or bands" because there are absolutely no credits to be found, which is really annoying, but a good guess would be that the (absolutely superb) pianist is the great Lafayette Leake, and the drummer may be Clifton James. The harpist doesn't really sound like anyone that I can identify just by listening to him; it sometimes sounds like the huge, horn-like tones of Little Walter Jacobs, but it probably isn't, and it doesn't really sound anything like Dixon's own favourite harpist, Big Walter Horton.

So, why would you buy a collection of songs that Muddy Waters and the Wolf have also recorded when those guys were much better singers? Well, because this isn't just Muddy Waters' single "The Same Thing" or Wolf's "Spoonful" only with different vocals. These are significantly different versions of those songs, different enough to warrant a listen for that reason alone, and as great as the better known versions are, most of these nine songs are in fact just as terrific.
"I Ain't Superstitious" has little besides the lyrics in common with Howlin' Wolf's searing rendition; Dixon's take on his own song is more up-tempo, with a clanging boogie piano part...wonderful, rollicking R&B, made for dancing to! "Back Door Man" is a tough, swaggering boast full of sexual bravado. And this jouyously swinging version of Willie Mabon's superbly melodic 1955 single "The Seventh Son" is absolutely irresistable with its lively upper-register piano fills and Dixon's energetic vocal.

Once you become familiar with his burly baritone you'll start to appreciate Willie Dixon as a singer, I'm sure...I'm starting to like his voice almost as much as Muddy's gruff, manly vocals, or Wolf's ferocious, growling roar of a voice. And as an arranger Dixon was unbeatable, as this volume amply demonstrates.
This is good-time Chicago blues and R&B of the very, very highest order. It's not as intense as prime Howlin' Wolf or Otis Rush, sure, but it is exquisitely presented and utterly charming, and the fidelity is terrific. Very, very highly recommended!"