BLUES CD REVIEWS   Alvin Lee - Alvin Lee In Tennessee - Rainman
Alvin Lee In Tennessee-
Back in the late 60’s I remember listening to Alvin Lee’s flashy guitar licks with his rock/blues band Ten Years After. Now many years after he got a chance to record with some of his heroes that inspired him from a decade before he arrived on the British scene. He traveled to Nashville Tennessee and laid down the tracks for this CD with guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana, band members of the late Elvis Presley. Those legends plus the remaining musicians in the studio, Pete Pritchard on double bass and Willie Rainsford on piano make this record an exciting play.

Early in my musical life and even today I use the term “Bluesabilly” to describe the style of sounds I’m now listening to. It’s mix of Blues, Rockabilly and Rock & Roll. I like it that Alvin, who also wrote all of the songs, has toned down his speed and plays straight ahead. With the steady rhythm of D.J and the rest of the band, there’s nothin’ fancy here, just all of them havin’ a good time and puttin’ out some rockin’ tunes. “Let’s Boogie” does just that. With tempo up a notch Alvin tells us about those “Rock & Roll Girls”. Tasty licks from both Alvin and Scotty are heard on “Take My Time”. Then “I’m Gonna Make It” rocks you away. The pace slows down on “Something’s Gonna Get You”, with special guest Tim Hinkley on the Hammond organ and some hot runs by Alvin. The vocal chorus on “Why Did You Do It” gets you involved. “Getting Nowhere Fast” has Alvin playin’ both electric and acoustic guitar. The pulse really rolls on “How Do you Do It”. A nice easy groove by Scotty and Alvin on guitars is felt on “Let’s Get It On”. Listening to “Tell Me Why” will make your feet start movin’ again and they won’t stop when Alvin gets into “I’m Going Home”. I think I’m worn out! “Alvin Lee In Tennessee” is ‘Bluesabilly’ at it’s finest  Eddy B

Eric Clapton - ME and MR JOHNSON - Reprise

“ME and MR JOHNSON” -Ya, I know we‘ve all heard Robert Johnson playin’ his well known and unforgettable 29 compositions and their alternative takes, plus the numerous artists that have covered these historical tunes over the years, and let’s be honest, nothin’ can beat Robert’s original recordings. Eric has rerecorded 14 of the most popular Johnson’s tunes with a great backing band including, Billy Preston on Hammond organ and piano, Jerry Portnoy on harmonica, Andy Fairweather Low and Doyle Bramhall II on guitars, playin’ bass Nathan East and Pino Palladino and on the drum kit Steve Gadd and Jim Keltner.

With Eric on guitar they all do an admiral job cloaking the impressive sounds that Robert laid down in the mid 1930’s on “They’re Red Hot”, “Stop Breakin’ Down Blues”, “Love In Vain” and “Hell Hound On My Trail”, to name a few. But let’s get to the point here, I was hoping that Eric would do a few of the songs strictly solo, him and his guitar, it just didn’t happen, it was always with the band. Hopefully the fans of Eric Clapton that know nothing about the Blues will get turned on to the Blues and Robert Johnson’s material. I really hope that Eric will not pressure a second volume of “ME and MR JOHNSON” and do the remaining 15 tracks of Robert Johnson’s legacy. This is a very good CD, but just go out and buy the Robert Johnson double CD set, “Robert Johnson, The Complete Recordings” on Columbia/ Legacy and the Blues world will be set straight. Sorry Mr. Clapton.   Eddy B
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