NOT THE SAME OLD BLUES CRAP 3 - Various Artists (Fat Possum)
There's a case to be made that the Fat Possum label is doing more than any to keep the time-honoured blues genre alive, which is one reason to lay down dollars for this bargain basement ($A15/$US8) sampler. Another is that this 18-track disc lives up to its name and doesn't restrict itself to the narrowest of definitions. Of course if you still need an excuse, it boasts another recording from the reformed Stooges (or "Iggy & The Stooges", as they seem to be billed). So listen up...
First things first, and the Stooges' "You Better Run" is a Junior Kimbrough cover, brewed up for a forthcoming tribute album to the legendary Mississippi contemporary bluesman. The guy fathered 36 kids so deserves some sort of trib for his endurance, not to mention a posthumous nest egg for offspring support. The Iggy-fication of the tune's dubious lyrics about rape notwithstanding, I was hanging to hear that trademark spiraling Ron Asheton lead-break only to find it sadly absent. Oh well. It's a righteous enough knock-off anyway - and essential for Stooges completists (and I'm one) but b ring on the new studio album.
No need to say "thanks for coming" at this point. If you're in the Stooges fandom ballpark, there should be more than enough ragged musical honesty to hold your interest. Fitting, in a way, that the Stooges are nestling down with some of the blues players herein, given that the Chicago variation of the form was such a touchstone for a young Jim Osterberg.
Most of this stuff has been released, but you'd have to have a generous budget and lots of shelving to have most of the catalogue on hand.
RL Burnside's been something of a standard-bearer for Fat Possum and is the best of the old style Delta bluesmen to have successfully married his work to contemporary musicians. There's a bit of his earliest work here ("Just Like a Bird Without a Feather") and a little of his more current ("Goin' Down South"). Both are commendable.
The Black Keys might be near the top of the tree of duos doing the bent blues thang, and "Set You Free" will be familiar to fans. It's also the rockingest thing here.
The eccentric Bob Log never bores but "Boob Scotch" is a slight drag without the novelty of the film clip of buxom fans dipping their headlights in whisky. Detroit soul legend Nathaniel Myer, on the other hand, sounds like dynamite on the skanky "I Found Out". Another vet doing it fine. Lump in T-Model Ford into that statement too. "Bad Man" stings like bad after shave and smells altogether less sweet.
Dare we say, a sampler to savour? - The Barman
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