Ironing Board Sam

Human Touch

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Ironing Board Sam is an offbeat, original journeyman. Since the '60s, he's traveled across the United States, playing various clubs and juke joints and releasing the occasional single on various labels. Over the years, his most distinctive element remained his wild, electric keyboard stylings. He mounted his self-made keyboards to an ironing board and simply wailed, creating unique sounds that were seldom heard in the blues. The Human Touch, a 1996 recording, isn't the stuff that made him notorious in certain circles. Instead, it's a laid-back, late-night session that doesn't bear much similarity to the freewheeling experimentations of legend. Although it's entertaining -- Ironing Board Sam has a surprisingly smooth and effective croon and his piano playing, while subdued, is still remarkable -- it isn't particularly special; simply put, it doesn't sound as special as it should.

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