Brownie McGhee

Blues Is Truth

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Brownie McGhee was 60 when Blues Is Truth (reissued on CD by Concord's Blues Alliance label in 1996) was recorded in White Plains, N.Y. in 1976, and the veteran bluesman was still a powerful, authoritative singer. Although not quite in a class with McGhee's magnificent work with Sonny Terry in the 1950s and '60s, Truth is a consistently appealing date that unites him with such solid players as guitarist Louisana Red (who's also an excellent singer, though he doesn't sing here), harmonica player Sugar Blue and pianist Sammy Price. McGhee is in fine form on everything from the lonely desperation of "Rainy Day" to the upbeat, party-time atmosphere of "Walk On" and sibling Sticks McGhee's familiar "Wine Sporty Orty." The band is quite cohesive, and McGhee never sounds less than inspired.

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