Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grady Champion "Back In Mississippi Live at 930 Blues Cafe"

These men won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2010 so you know they play with fire and power. This show was recorded on 07-07-07 at the 930 Blues Club in Jackson Mississippi, and it captures a great time. Grady Champion and the Grady Champion Revue featuring Eddie Cotton Jr, as a band, are made of Mr. Champion on vocals and harp and Mr. Cotton on guitar, Calvin Wilson on keyboards, Marquis Champion on bass, and Frank White on drums. They have played together long enough to do things right. Things start off with the doubleheader blast of Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed, with "I'm Ready" and "Baby What You Want Me To Do/Bright Lights" the way shows probably kicked off in hundreds of blues clubs back in the 50s and 60s. These classics are expertly done, and after that warm up the band brings out three Grady Champion compositions, "You Got Some Explaining To Do" "1-800-Blu-Love" and "Policeman Blues." Grady testifies, he tells the truth in each song; and then, as the audience is catching their breath, the Revue launches into a long and glorious cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Spoonful" and you think the show must be wrapping up. But the best is still yet to come! Led by a slow and terrific organ and guitar intro, the band digs into "Lonesome Bed Blues" where everybody gets a chance to shine, especially Eddie Cotton Jr. His guitar work here alone is worth the price of the cd. The rest of the show is all 100% top notch blues, mixing Grady Champion's original songs with the BB King classic "Why I Sing The Blues," which is where you get to hear Grady's great harp work. During "Wine and Women," co-written by Grady and Eddie Cotton Jr., Calvin Wilson plays a great solo on piano. Every song is fully realized... This cd is a great teaching opportunity too. Anybody who says "I don't like the blues, they're all sad songs" needs to hear this. It will lift your spirits! You can dance to it! And for all you blues DJ's out there, there's a good blues Christmas song here too--"Blues On Christmas."

Just yesterday (July 12) Grady Champion won the Jackson Music Award as "Local Blues Artist of the Year." Lucky people of Jackson.

You can buy this disc at http://www.gradychampion.com

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