Stephen Pilkington’s Review of 2009
Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010
Top albums of 2009
Omar Kent Dykes – Big Town Playboy – Up to his usual high standards with a variety of well-chosen covers from the likes of Eddie Taylor, Jimmy McCracklin, Slim Harpo and, of course, Jimmy Reed.
Duke Robillard – Stomp! The Blues Tonight – The Duke doing what he does best, honking, pounding, wailing and hollering jump blues.
Magic Slim & The Teardrops – Rough Dried Woman – A great compilation of his work on the Wolf label – Chicago blues don’t get any better than this!
Bobby Jones – Comin’ Back Hard – A big-voiced singer, backed by the mighty Mannish Boys…blues perfection!
Chicago Blues A Living History – Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell combine their considerable talents to give us a guided tour of Chicago blues history.
Sugar Pie Desanto – Go Go Power- The complete collection of her Chess singles proves that there’s a lot more to this lady than “Soulful Dress”. From deep ballads to pounding dancefloor anthems, every one’s a winner.
Rod Piazza – Soul Monster – A typical mixture of covers and originals, featuring Rod’s superb harp playing and his tight-as-hell band.
Eugene Hideaway Bridges – Live In San Antonio – Never seen this guy live, but now I’ve heard this, I’ll be looking to rectify that as soon as possible!
Harmonica Shah – If All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A nail – Primitivo Detroit blues in the grand tradition of Eddie Kirkland and John Lee Hooker.
Tail Dragger – Rooster’s Lounge – The spirit of the Wolf lives on in this raw and ragged set recorded live.
Shirley Johnson – Blues Attack – I love this lady and always go to see her at Blue Chicago when I’m in the Windy City. This, her second album for Delmark, is a real favourite of mine.
Little Walter – The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967) – If you’re into harmonica blues, you need this. As simple as…
Quintus McCormick Blues Band – Hey Jodie! – A great set of mostly self-penned soul blues from a talented vocalist and guitarist.
Eddie Hinton – Very Extremely Dangerous – Welcome reissue of this long-deleted set from the greatest blue-eyed soulman ever.
Take Me to The River – A Southern Soul Story – This is probably cheating, as I think it came out in December last year, but what’s the odd month when you’re talking about a masterpiece like this? If you don’t have it, buy it. Now.
I was thinking back to the last live gig I’d been to and then I realised it was the Harpbreakers at the George in Cheadle…in November 2008! I really wish someone would start up a blues night in downtown Manchester.
Hopes for 2010
To get out to more live gigs and to make it to Chicago again for the blues festival.
Happy New Year