Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mean Street, An Anthology of Classical Blues in the "Jukin' with the Blues" Series

Mean Street (Catbone 2005-2) is an anthology of what Julius Hemphill was referring to in his "Hard Blues." Here's an anthology in the Catbone series, an anthology of hard, hard blues about some hard times. It has some of the best. Elmore James' "Dust My Broom," Howlin Wolf's "Killing Floor," Jimmy Reed's "Goin Upside Your Head," Etta James and "It Brings a Tear" (aka "Drown in My Own Tears"). This is the school of hard knocks, songs about people driven to the edge, beyond, sometimes, what is considered politically correct. You have big problems in your life, you look to the closest people to blame and it might be your mate. But they may have done you wrong too.

Here are 17 slabs of the blues truth, the hard truth, the hard blues. There are enough classics in this stack-o-sound that you might just be well served by grabbing it if you don't know how the hard blues could and can be. Hard times? Hard blues.

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