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50 Great British Blues Recordings – Part 7

31) John Mayall with Eric Clapton – Blues Breakers (1966/2006)
A.k.a. “the Beano album”, this LP launched the “Clapton is God” graffiti all over London and was responsible in a huge way for the spread of the 1960s British blues boom. The 2006 Deluxe Edition 2-CD set has both the mono and stereo versions of the album, plus 19 bonus tracks from 1965-1966. Eric Clapton shines on Freddie King’s “Hideaway” and “Steppin’ Out”, and Robert Johnson’s “Ramblin’ On My Mind” (an early Clapton vocal). I also like the pop/blues number “I’m Your Witchdoctor”, a single A-side on the second disc of this set. Ignore John Mayall’s piano if you can and savor the tough, early guitar work of Clapton on “Bernard Jenkins”. A nice E. C. lead opens “They Call It Stormy Monday”. I’m ordinarily not a big fan of Mayall’s nasal vocals (I didn’t warm up to his singing until 1968’s Bare Wires); Clapton’s superb playing throughout both CDs is the reason to get this set.

33) Gary Moore – The Best of the Blues (2002)
The first disc of this 2-CD collection is 17 great tracks from five of Irish blueser and Peter Green devotee (Moore owns Green’s famous Gibson)  Gary Moore’s early 1990s LPs. The second disc has 14 tracks of unreleased concert material. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the fresh crunchiness of “Walking By Myself”, the fierce “Pretty Woman” and the mournful “Still Got the Blues”. “Story of the Blues” and the live version of “Midnight Blues” are haunting; Moore shreds on “All Your Love” and “Texas Strut” and connects with “I Need Your Love So Bad”, “Jumpin’ At Shadows” and “The Supernatural”.

The bonus live disc boasts four cuts with Albert Collins, two with Albert King, and one with B.B. King. Moore and Collins really mix it up on “Further Up the Road”.

34) Nazareth – Razamanaz (1973/2009)
Nazareth really hit their stride with their breakthrough third LP, a crackling collection of meaty blues rockers produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover. Stand-outs are “Razamanaz”, Woody Guthrie’s (by way of Ry Cooder) “Vigilante Man”, “Woke Up This Morning”, the Bo Diddley-ish “Night Woman” and “Bad Bad Boy”. The 2009 CD release is sweetened with 6 bonus tracks from that same time period. Lead singer Dan McCafferty‘s raspy vocals were made for the blues.

35) Christine Perfect – Complete Blue Horizon Sessions (2008)
This CD of 1969-1970 material is comprised of the entire Christine Perfect LP (minus “I’d Rather Go Blind”, which is on the Chicken Shack anthology), plus 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks. Original Yardbirds lead guitarist Top Topham plays lead on all the tracks except “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby”. The future Mrs. McVie (she married bass player John McVie before joining Fleetwood Mac) especially shines on “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby”, “I’m On My Way” and “And That’s Saying A Lot”.

More to Follow, of course….

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