Luther Allison has had the "Midas touch" since ending his
self-imposed European exile a few years back. He's appeared on most major festivals, won
more than a few Handy awards, and garnered considerable acclaim for his first two
Alligator albums. Blues is a music of emotional intensity, and no one in the last 25 years
has approached Allison's onstage fervor.
just might be Allison's best CD to date. He's at his strongest on slow, intense blues
numbers, and this disk has several killers. When I reviewed Allison's previous album, Blue
Streak, I proclaimed that "Cherry Red Wine" would be in contention for the
best blues song of the '90s. Now you can add "Drowning At The Bottom" to that
same list. As with "Cherry Red Wine," this song deals with the despair bought on
by the evils of alcohol. "....You've got the nerve to ask the children to pour you
another drink...." and the ending refrain "....When it's all said and
done, you're going to keep on drinking, the children will only remember by the hole they
dug in the ground...." are extremely effective lines.
"Living In The House Of The Blues" and "Will It Ever Change?" are other slow, intense numbers. And if you start to think of Allison as a one-dimensional artist, then he'll speed up the tempo for you on the more cheerful "You Can, You Can."
Another of this artist's strengths is his ability to take a cover tune, and reshape it to his own style. On Reckless Allison takes O.V. Wright's soul weeper "You're Gonna Make Me Cry," leads in with a churchy organ intro, then hits the listener with incredible impassioned, pleading vocals.
Luther Allison is arguably the finest contemporary blues performer. Reckless further cements that reputation.
- Bill Mitchell
[Pick Hit][What's New][Surprise][Flashback][Feedback][Back Issues][Home Page]
The Blues Bytes Web Site has been developed by Blue Night Productions. For more info, send an e-mail.
The Blues Bytes URL... http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/
Revised: April 28, 1997 - Version 1.00
All contents Copyright © 1997, Blue Night Productions. All rights reserved.