Monday, December 3, 2007

Two Reviews

Hot Tuna--Hot Tuna (RCA 1970--reissued 1996 BMG with 5 additional songs)

This is Hot Tuna's debut album. Recorded live at the New Orleans House, Berkeley. Acoustic finger-picking and vocals from Jorma Kaukonen and bass from Jack Casady. Almost all covers, ranging from Jelly Roll Morton to Sam "LIghtnin" Hopkins, with two Kaukonen originals. Good liner notes by Jeff Tamarkin. This has the original Hot Tuna hit, "Hesitation Blues." A fabulous album to enjoy on a Sunday morning or late at night through headphones. One of my favorite releases of the 70s. It still sounds great.

Raw--Bobby Rush (2007 Thirty Tigers)

This is a pretty good cd. All Music Guide (2007) praises "Raw" for it's honesty and its passion--they say it may be the blues cd of the year--I think that's right on. One voice and an acoustic guitar make genuine blues music. Rush is a good writer and a good singer, and his guitar playing and foot stomping moves each song along at a leisurely pace. Ten Rush originals and 3 covers. This cd is similar to Eric Bibb's cd "Diamond Days" (2006 Flat Brim) in subject matter and instrumentation, but I think Bobby Rush delivers the goods with more fire.

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