Thursday, April 23, 2015

I’ve got a couple of crates full of old vinyl albums that I haven’t listened to in years due to lack of equipment to play them. Over a period of about a year and a half I revisited each album on the internet or bought the CD and ranked the songs. I also recorded some brief thoughts, rated the album, and posted the results on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists comment section. I’m recycling and categorizing/grouping the posts on this website.

Texas Flood
A radio program called “Room Full of Blues” turned me on to Stevie Ray Vaughan before the mainstream knew who he was. I remember he stood out as a personal favorite among the legends that were included in the program’s format. This album is similar to the Roy Buchanan albums I covered in that it’s straight up guitar heavy R&B. I know Larry doesn’t like him (but then, Larry doesn’t like any guitarist who’s not willing to step out of the spotlight and play some rhythm once in a while), but obviously this man was a great blues guitarist. The first two songs on my list are smokin’ instrumentals that display just how great (The CD includes a bonus track of a live version of “Testify” that’s even better than the studio version, if that’s possible). But there’s only so many ways you can go with hardcore R&B, so there isn’t much separation between the rest of the songs (except for “Lenny” which breaks away from the genre). If you’re in the mood, you could dial up just about any of these songs and be satisfied. Personally, I love R&B, but I’m not always in the mood. If I was I’d probably give this album an even higher grade.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B

2- Rude Mood
3- Mary Had A Little Lamb
4- Texas Flood
5- Lenny
6- I’m Cryin’
7- Pride and Joy
8- Love Struck Baby
9- Tell Me
10- Dirty Pool

Strong Persuader
This Robert Cray album starts out solid enough – the first four songs are in the upper half of my list – and closes with an ok song, but the rest of the songs are slightly below average. The first three on my list are almost good enough to slap a plus sign behind my grade, but I’m gonna leave it as is.
Scale of 1 to 10:  C

1- Smoking Gun
2- I Guess I Showed Her
3- Nothin’ but a Woman
4- New Blood
5- Right Next Door (Because of Me)
6- Fantasized
7- I Wonder
8- Still Around
9- Foul Play
10- More Than I Can Stand

The Honeydrippers: Volume One
This album is named “The Honeydrippers: Volume One” but there is no volume two. One and done from this band formed by Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. It’s nothing like Zep, though, even though the band includes Jimmy Page as well. Kind of a blend of rockabilly, blues, and big band - - ‘50s music with better recording equipment. Which is not the type of music I usually listen to, but the whole album is only about twenty minutes long so it doesn’t have time to wear out its welcome. Not bad for what it’s trying to be.
Scale of 1 to 10:  B

1- Rockin’ at Midnight
2- I Got a Woman
3- I Get a Thrill
4- Sea of Love
5- Young Boy Blues

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