Title - 'This Is the Blues, Volume 1 + 2' (Eagle Records)
Artist - Various
Wow! What a wonderful, indepth, raw two volume set of Blues CDs if ever there were!
'This Is The Blues' presents a musical collective interpreting some of the greatest blues and blues-rock tunes of all time. Classics written by the likes of Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker, Peter Green, and John Lee Hooker are honored with performances by a gathering of supreme musicians in modern rock and blues.
Although, in truth, 'This is the Blues: Volume One' and 'Volume Two' focus mainly on two artists — the aforementioned John Lee Hooker and original Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green — whose songs make up 18 of the 30 tracks on these!
Volume 1 features Jeff Beck, Chris & Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor, Gary Moore, Harvey Mandel, and T.S. McPhee, while Volume 2 boasts Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce, “Lonesome” Dave Peverett, Southside Johnny and honorees John Lee Hooker and Peter Green.
Some highlight, well, at least for me, are the Volume One starting point, where Jeff Beck tackles Hooker’s “Hobo Blues.” Hooker’s daughter, Zakiya, delivers a spirited version of her father’s “I Want to Hug You,” and Jack Bruce reunites with his ex-BBM band mate Gary Moore for a down and dirty version of Hooker’s “I’m in the Mood.”
The late Rory Gallagher opens Volume Two with a devastating turn on Green’s “Leaving Town Blues” that features him on vocals, guitar, and mandolin, whereas Southside Johnny’s fine vocals make “Baby When the Sun Goes Down” another highlight of this second disc.
John Lee Hooker makes Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” his own, and backed by a blues super group - featuring Booker T. Jones on keyboards and the late Bruce Gary on drums - the orchestration of sound is stronger than ever before.
Note: Volumes 3 and 4 will be released on July 20th.