THE FUTURE OF THE BLUES
I should premise this review with a notice I generally am not a huge fan of compilation disks. I have never understood why people download a bunch of singles off the 'Net to make a disk. You want that then turn on the radio. A CD is supposed to be where you get to enjoy a body of work by a single performer, allowing them to weave the different moods as they go.
That said, anytime a killer blues label such as Northernblues Music puts together a sampler, you are in for some darned fine music.
This Canadian label has a fine stable of artists and it's a treat to enjoy a taste of each, although be forewarned, you are likely to be left with a substantial list of full-length CDs you will be wanting after getting a sample here.
The CD starts off hot with Watermelon Slim's rendition of Blues For Howard. Slim is a performer who gets better with every CD he puts out, and he's smokin' here. He also contributes Blue Freightliner, and Dumpster Blues, and the trio of cuts are recording highlights. Of course any blues collection needs a Watermelon Slim CD or two.
Of course hot blues is the order of the day here.
Homemade Jamz Blues Band, one of the most promising young blues band, and I do mean young as the trio are all in their teens, offers up Penny Waiting On Change.
Tell Me Why is one of the best-of-the best here, coming courtesy of Moreland & Arbuckle. Very sweet blues indeed.
Paul Reddick is on-board with Breathless Girl, Eddie Turner, hot as he is, offers Mr. Blues, and the smooth as ever Mem Shannon contributes Phunkville.
By now you probably get the idea that this is really a loaded, all-star-style line-up, and that is just what it is.
The end result is a CD which is a great introduction to a great label, and its amazing collection of artists. You will be left wanting more, but isn't that the idea of a sampler.
You can check it out at www.northernblues.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.28, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada