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V.A. - Blues Power: Songs of Eric Clapton (1999)

01. Miss You - Larry McCray
02. Blues Power - Koko Taylor
03. Wonderful Tonight - Otis Clay
04. Lay Down Sally - Carl Weathersby
05. Strange Brew - Buddy Guy
06. Before You Accuse Me - Bo Diddley
07. Roll It Over - Joe Louis Walker with James Cotton
08. Crossroads - Honeyboy Edwards with James Cotton
09. Old Love - Otis Rush
10. Too Bad - Pinetop Perkins with John Hammond and Bob Margolin
11. Tears in Heaven - Ann Peebles
12. Layla - Eric Gales with Derek Trucks

A tribute album that's not a tribute album - at least according to the text on the cover of this CD. In a way, that's correct, since Blues Power includes not merely artists who've been influenced by Clapton, but also artists who've influenced him. Many of these musicians' careers were positively affected by the advent of British blues and the blues revival of the 1960s-events in which Clapton played no small part. So it's fitting that Buddy Guy should appear here, and Bo Diddley, James Cotton, Honeyboy Edwards, and Pinetop Perkins. In addition, younger artists make an appearance, including Larry McCray, Carl Weathersby, Joe Louis Walker, Eric Gales, and Derek Trucks. And for the most part--as one would expect given the caliber of the performers--the material here is very strong. Standouts include Weathersby's hard-grooving take on "Lay Down Sally," Guy's version of "Strange Brew," Walker and Cotton's sexy "Roll It Over," and Perkins's wry "Too Bad." A few of the selections seem to be winks at the listener: for instance, Diddley covers his own "Before You Accuse Me," a song popularized by Creedence Clearwater Revival and more recently recorded by Clapton. The oddest of the lot, though, would have to be "Crossroads," one of the most covered blues songs ever, which Honeyboy Edwards here records in a style more reminiscent of Robert Johnson than of Clapton. It's moments like these that make this album as much a history as it is a tribute. Closing things off is, of course, "Layla," here reinterpreted by young guitar-slingers Gales and Trucks. The closing coda, while different from Clapton's original, perfectly captures its mood. While there are some weak moments--Koko Taylor tones down her characteristic roar for "Blues Power" for some reason - this is a strong album overall, exploring Clapton's strengths as a songwriter and as a bluesman through the eyes of contemporaries, predecessors, and followers. - amazon.com

22.06.2009. u 11:30 • 0 CommentsPrintPermalink

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