Various Artists

Blues [Castle]

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This 16-track collection culled from various recordings on the Columbia family of labels in the '70s and '80s should be titled "Blues/Rock," for it contains very little authentic or traditional blues, electric or acoustic. While "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters or "Statesboro Blues" from Taj Mahal qualify, this is mainly white British or American electric guitar based rock bands playing a popular favorite blues tune or tribute, and many are in a more R&B style. Nothing is done badly at all, in fact there are some real gems, like Robert Cray's "Smoking Gun," Eric Clapton's "Tribute to Elmore," Johnny Winter's "Don't Take Advantage of Me," Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac doing "Black Magic Woman," Rory Gallagher's "Ghost Blues," and the Allman Brothers classic "Stormy Monday." Other tunes familiar to a rock audience are done by Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Thorogood, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, but they veer away from real blues. One should check out the cuts from Otis Rush and Otis Grand, and explore their discographies further.

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