Chicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues
Written by Edward F. Nesta   
Chicago Blues a Living History - The (R)Evolution ContinuesChicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues with Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Magic Slim, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Zora Young, Mike Avery is a 2-disc magical blues release that captivates from the opening hot guitar licks and continues to track 22 with music from the ‘40s to the late 90s.

Chicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues

Chicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues    

Disc 1: He's a Jelly Roll Baker, I'll Be Up Again Someday, She Don't Love Me That Way, Canary Bird, Chicago Bound, Stockyard Blues, Diamonds At Your Feet, Rocket 88, Reelin' and Rockin', Medley: Mellow Down Easy/Bo Diddley

Disc 2: First Time I Met the Blues, Keep A-Drivin', Easy Baby, Howlin' For My Baby, My Daily Wish, Yonder Wall, Be Careful How You Vote, Somebody Loan Me A Dime, Got To Leave Chi-Town, Don't Take Advantage of Me, Ain't Enough Comin' In, Makes These Blues Survive, The Blues Had a Baby (and They Named It Rock and Roll)  

Personnel: Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson, Special Guests: Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Magic Slim, Featuring: Ronnie Baker Brooks, Zora Young, Mike Avery  

Chicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues was produced by Larry Skoller, Co-Produced by Matthew Skoller, Executive Producers - Larry Skoller, CEEM (Centre Européen d'Échange Musicale): Mohamed Beldjoudi, Co-Founder, Christophe Ubelmann, Co-Founder, and the Festival Aulnay All Blues, Aulnay-sous-Bois, France on the Raisin' Music record label.  

Disc 1, features 10 tracks and opens with the track, He's a Jelly Roll Baker (1942), written by blues guitar legend Lonnie Johnson, which is a sassy rendition that seduces the listener and sets the tone for a remarkable release. The track features Billy Boy Arnold on vocals and Billy Flynn carrying the blues guitar torch.  

The first disc is full of remarkable blues tracks such as I'll Be Up Again Someday (1946), written by Tampa Red, She Don't Love Me That Way (1941), written by John Lee "Sonnyboy" Williamson, and Canary Bird (1949), written by the legendary Muddy Waters. The founders of blues may not have been present for this recording, but they would be proud of the musicians who have followed in their steps to preserve the heart, soul, and sound of the blues.  

Other great tracks include the Jackie Brenston song Rocket 88 (1951), Diamonds At Your Feet written by McKinley Morganfield (1956), and the 1958 Chuck Barry song, Reelin' and Rockin'.  

Disc 2 features amazing 12 tracks plus a bonus track that keeps the blues' party going. The opening track, First Time I Met The Blues written by E. Montgomery (1960), is a defining song that captures the essence of the blues with smoking guitar rifts and vocals ...Good mornin', good mornin', good mornin' Mr. Blues, I'd like to know what you're doin' here so soon ... hangin' around me in the afternoon ..."  

Keep A-Drivin' written by Chuck Willis pulses with blues energy and the lyrics, "... I woke up this mornin' with my baby on my mind ... I'm gonna get in my car and go down that lonesome highway ... she's a thousand miles away ... and I ain't lying either," that will have you up on your feet strutting your stuff. Easy Baby written by Samuel Maghett (1958) takes it down, nice and easy, slow and seductive; the last track.  

Ronnie Baker Brooks' Makes These Blues Survive (1998), the last song on the release clearly proves that the blues are not only alive and well, but are thriving. If 22 tracks were not enough, there is the magical bonus track, The Blues Had a Baby (and They Named It Rock and Roll) that opens with a harmonica riff, and keeps the rhythm going with pulsing piano, stellar guitar work, and lyrics that makes the blues, the blues.  

To get a feel and an understanding for the music of Chicago Blues: A Living History - The (R)evolution Contines, you need to understand the musicians; meet a few of the talents behind this incredible release.  

Billy Boy Arnold, "A lot of people assumed I was from the South. But they didn't know I was born in Chicago until the ‘60s when they started putting that in books and magazines. Most of the musicians didn't know. Junior Wells and all those other guys thought well, I'm singing Blues, I must be from Mississippi or Arkansas or Georgia."    

Lurrie Bell, "I've been listening to the Blues from back in the 30s, 40s, 50s on up - without all them Blues artists, I wouldn't even exist. Paying tribute to the older guys who laid down the tradition is very important to me."  

Billy Branch, "... the single most important thing I got from Carey (Bell) was not to be afraid to take risks ... His playing was unique and very personal. Although I think his favorite harp player was Big Walter, he didn't sound like Big Walter ... and I'm sure that he respected Junior and Cotton, but he didn't sound like them at all ... from that I was able to understand that being unique and having your own personal style was more important than trying to copy someone."   

Ronnie Baker Brooks, "I like to think of how Muddy Waters took the Mississippi Blues he heard in his youth and modernized it for his times by making it electric and harder. That's what I am trying to do for my generation. I want to take what's authentic and powerful about the music I grew up loving and bring in other influences without losing the heart and conviction of it."   

Carlos Johnson, "After Otis Rush unfortunately had his stroke, he had already been booked to tour Japan. He was having a hard time playing his guitar and he asked me to be his guitar and represent him on the tour. As a guitar player it was the highest honor anyone could've possibly bestowed on me. Especially him being left-handed like me and being the genius player that he is and being one of the main reasons I'm playing the guitar ..."    

John Primer, "I used to dream that I was playing onstage with Muddy Waters' band when I was a kid. He was my idol. All those years later when Mojo Buford came and got me at Theresa's and told me Muddy wanted me in his band, I was like, wow, a happy man."    

Chicago Blues - A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues is an amazing two CD set that is necessary for any blues lover's collection. The music is not just a release of covers, but it is a nod to the legends of blues and to the lasting contributions they have created across all music genres.   

Websites where you can procure Chicago Blues - A Living History - The (R)evolution Continues are Raisin' Music, CD Universe, Barnes & Noble, Oldies, J&R, iTunes, and Amazon.  

© July 2011. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.