Friday, January 1, 2010
Bob MARGOLIN - All Star Blues Jam 2002
Bob Margolin, former lead guitar player for Muddy Waters, has assembled a stellar cast of Chicago musicians for All-Star Blues Jam. These are all longtime veteran players with pedigrees in Howlin' Wolf's and Waters' bands among others, with the exception of Mookie Brill on vocals, bass, and harmonica, who more than holds his own with this fine assemblage. The band is tight and well used to jamming, and this shows with their playing of these 15 songs that sound as if they come out of a Chicago blues handbook. Most of them are standards; however, such songwriters as Brook Benton and of course Margolin contributed a couple. A standout on the disc is the rendition of "Mean Old Chicago," which Margolin wrote on the way to Jimmy Rogers' funeral. This was recorded live, as were most of the cuts, at a gig he was doing in Salina. On this version of it he is joined on guitar by Jimmy D. Lane, who is Rogers' son. The couple of songs recorded with Hubert Sumlin were done at Margolin's house with the two of them picking and Brill joining in on acoustic guitar or harp. It has that wonderful live feel of spontaneous playing that has a true spirit to it.
By Bob Gottlieb.
This meeting of Muddy Waters Band alumni thrives on subtle turns of virtuosity. Session leader Margolin proves how beautifully he can approximate Waters’s soul-probing, staccato slide guitar as he adds its whinnying tone to Pinetop Perkins’s barrelhouse piano and voice on "Sweet (Little) Black Angel." Harp legend Carey Bell puts a sharp edge on "One Day You’re Gonna Get Lucky," spitting out lyrics and letting his harp rock the melody. And drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith incites the Elmore James-inspired shuffle "Always on My Mind," shouting and pounding out its heartbreak as Margolin slides again. "Last Time" is a rare acoustic showcase for guitarist Hubert Sumlin. And there’s room for newcomers, too. Jimmy D. Lane picks slow and easy like his dad, the late Jimmy Rogers, on "Mean Old Chicago," and Margolin’s bassist Mookie Brill comes off as an MVP, offering laid-back propulsion throughout and singing his campy original "My New Baby Owns a Whiskey Store." Together they all raise the spirit of great early Chicago blues so effectively that, if not for its excellent sound, this album could have been cut in the late 1950s.
By Ted Drozdowski.
Bob Margolin- (Vocals, Guitar);
Tom Brill- (Vocals, harmonica);
Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy D. Lane- (Guitar);
Carey Bell- (Harmonica);
Pinetop Perkins- (Piano);
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith- (Drums).
Mookie Brill- (Vocals, Harmonica, Bass);
01. Brutal Hearted Woman
02. Sweet (Little) Black Angel
03. One Day You're Gonna Get Lucky
04. I'll Take Care of You
06. Mean Old Chicago - Jimmy D. Lane, Bob Margolin
07. Always on My Mind
08. Easy to Love You
09. Last Time
10. Maybe the Hippies Were Right
11. Country Boy
12. Crazy 'Bout You Baby
13. My New Baby Owns a Whiskey Store
14. Goin' Down Slow
15. Just a Closer Walk With Thee