Bob Margolin & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

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Bob Margolin & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:02 pm

BOB MARGOLIN
In North Carolina
Steady Rollin' (2006) SR001

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15 tracks, 57 minutes - excellent. Bob Margolin's lengthy blues rap sheet as a guitarist included a good number of years at the side of Muddy Waters. In the close to two-and-a-half decades that have passed since Muddy's death, Bob has issued a number of solid efforts (on Alligator, Blind Pig, and Telarc among others) all showing a wide variety of styles. The self-produced and released In North Carolina finds Margolin playing all the instruments himself (guitar, bass, and drums) and while this approach often results in a disjointed affair, Margolin has the necessary feel and background to pull it off and make it sound like a well-oiled band project. About half the disc consists of original material with the remainder being a selection of covers by Muddy (Tell Me Why and Lonely Man Blues), Floyd Smith (Floyd's Guitar Blues), Sonny Boy Williamson (Red Hot Kisses) and others plus there's a nine-minute piece of spoken blues fiction over acoustic guitar to close the disc on an interesting note. Another fine outing that displays the acoustic and electric blues sides of Bob Margolin effectively.

Bob Margolin


WILLIE "BIG EYES" SMITH
Way Back
Hightone (2006) HCD 8191

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11 tracks, 48 minutes - excellent. With one of the best blues shuffles in the business, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith left most of the drumming chores on Way Back to his son "Beady Eyes" (otherwise known as Kenny Smith) and opted for the harmonica chair, a slot he once held during the 1950s with Big Boy Spires and Bo Diddley in Chicago. Willie's voice isn't a powerful weapon (some might opt to call it pedestrian) but his harp work stands up well and the outcome is a fairly strong and entertaining disc. Guests include James Cotton (harp on I Don't Trust You Man and If You Don't Believe I'm Leaving), Bob Margolin (guitar on Don't Say That No More and Blues And Trouble), Calvin "Fuzz" Jones or Bob Stroger handling the bass duties, Pinetop Perkins on piano for most of the session, Johnny Rapp, Billy Flynn, and others. Smith tackles Muddy's Read Way Back, Little Walter's Tell Me Mama, and Sonny Boy's Don't Start Me Talkin' while fleshing out the disc with originals, but if you have Willie's earlier outings on disc, some of the material will be familiar. Way Back might not set the blues world on fire but it's nice to see another veteran with a lengthy career still serving up rugged Chicago-style blues.

Hightone Records

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© 2007 by Craig Ruskey
Last edited by blueswriter on Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jeffl » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:46 pm

Thanks again,B-Dub. It's good to have you stickin' those reviews out there for us again.
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Postby bosco » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:47 pm

Thanks again,B-Dub. It's good to have you stickin' those reviews out there for us again.

You got that right...I enjoy these more than the morning paper!

:wink:
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Postby blueswriter » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:05 pm

Thanks to everyone for looking things over and offering comments and support. There's more coming... :wink:
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