Friday, February 26, 2010
Carey BELL - Good Luck Man 1997
Carey Bell is an effective and surprisingly versatile singer but it is his powerful harmonica that really stands out. One of the last of the major Chicago blues harpists, Bell (an alumnus of the Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon bands) had led his own groups for most of the previous 30 years when he came out with this disc. His longtime guitarist Steve Jacobs offers some concise and stinging comments but the leader is virtually the whole show on his CD, which finds him leading a tight six-piece group. Nothing too unusual occurs but the music definitely has plenty of spirit. By Scott Yanow. AMG.
The world needs more Carey Bells. With his fat tone, outstanding phrasing and great song selection, this man is truly worthy of legendary status among harmonica players, or blues men in general, for that matter. This man, and those like him, are the ones who will keep the blues harp tradition alive for years to come.
"Good Luck Man" is Bell's follow-up to the outstanding "Deep Down." With the same harp skill and strong sense of song selection, Bell turns out a record which equals, and in some ways surpasses, its predecesor. Bell opens with a great, funky rendition of Muddy Waters' "My Love Strikes Like Lightening" which sets the standard for the rest of the album. This disc is highly enjoyable throughout as Bell showcases some outstanding originals and fine covers. Throughout all 14 tracks, Carey gives us all the great blues we want, and then some.
Carey Bell is clearly among the greatest living harpists (his only competition in my opinion being James Cotton and Sugar Blue). He has the fattest tone out there and excellent phrasing to boot. This record demonstrates those skills well, as Bell blows up a storm on all pieces. Particularly memorable are the instrumental "Bell Hop" and the elegant, low down "Hard Working Woman," the latter demonstrating Bell's unsurpassed skill on chromatic harp.
Overall, this is an outstanding album. True, it feels a bit like a sequel to "Deep Down," but given the quality ofmusic on both records, I don't think there can be any just complaints. "Deep Down" may still be the essential first purchase from the Carey Bell catalog, but this one would definatly be the next stop on the list.
By Alex Harpskier.
Carey Bell- (Vocals, Harmonica)
Will Crosby- (Guitar)
Johnny Iguana- (Piano)
Johnny B. Gayden- (Bass)
Willie Hayes- (Drums)
01. My Love Strikes Like Lightning 4:10
02. Love Her, Don't Shove Her 3:25
03. Sleeping With The Devil 3:48
04. Hard Working Woman 4:38
05. Bell Hop 3:42
06. Bad Habits 4:49
07. Good Luck Man 5:24
08. Hard Hearted Woman 3:55
09. Going Back To Mississippi 3:42
10. I'm A Business Man 3:22
11. Teardrops 7:08
12. Brand New Deal 4:20
13. Good Lover 3:50
14. Double Cross 2:46