Little Milton

Blues Is Alright: Live at Kalamazoo [Bonus Tracks]

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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

This two-disc set includes live tracks by Little Milton, Mighty Sam McClain, and Reverend Raven & His Chain-Smoking Altar Boys recorded at the Kalamazoo Blues Fest in Kalamazoo, MI, in 2001 (McClain) and 2003 (Milton and Raven). The first disc features Little Milton and his country and gospel-infused brand of guitar blues, highlighted by the nearly 20-minute "Slow Blues Medley." Milton is a fine player, and the warm, full guitar tone he gets makes each cut in his set a delight. The second disc collects six-song sets from both McClain and Reverend Raven. McClain's everyman soul vocals give a fine intimacy to his horn-driven arrangements, particularly on "New Man in Town," which has become sort of a signature song for McClain after being featured on the Ally McBeal television show. Reverend Raven & His Chain-Smoking Altar Boys deliver a basic garage blues sound with tons of overdriven harmonica solos, highlighted by a Slim Harpo homage, "Big Bee," and a cover of Frank Frost's "My Back Scratcher." The label here, Along the Blues Highway, is committed to releasing fine live blues performances, and this double disc certainly sets high standards for both sound and performance.

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