Various Artists

Barbecue Blues

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Barbecue Blues relies on a cutesy concept -- it contains nothing but blues and R&B songs about food, barbeques and appetites -- but it works surprsingly well, mainly because most of the featured artists are excellent. Surprisingly, the compilers decided to bypass modern electric blues for classic female blues, jump blues, classic R&B and country blues. It's a gambit that works, because it gives the album a distinctive identity. There are a couple of weak cuts, to be sure -- that's usually the case with various-artists compilations -- but the majority of the songs here are excellent and the disc itself is a great choice for a party -- or a barbeque, for that matter. Among the featured artists are Professor Longhair ("Red Beans"), Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows ("Too Much Barbecue"), Andre Williams ("Pass the Biscuits"), the Big Three Trio ("Appetite Blues"), Bessie Smith ("Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer"), John Brim ("Ice Cream Man"), Louis Jordan ("Saturday Night Fish Fry") and, of course, Barbecue Bob ("Barbecue Blues").

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