Luther Russell

Down At Kit's

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Aside from a couple of excellent band projects (Federale and the long-lamented Freewheelers), Luther Russell has carved out an extremely interesting solo and production career. The key descriptor is diversity. His first solo album, Lowdown World was an excellent foray into acoustic folk-blues. His production work for Cravedog Records includes a couple of wonderfully intense albums by Fernando, a Mexican-American rocker. Live At Kits is his first album for Cravedog, and it's a sprawling, soulful record. What Russell has done here is to create the funkiest soul/rock album of 1970...recorded and released in 1999. Between his own fine playing on a variety of instruments as well as sampling some rhythms for Lee Michaels and other more obscure artists, Russell creates an individual universe where the only rule is a perpetual groove. One of the disc's highlights, though, is a track recorded with the members of the late Freewheelers, a cover of Booker T. & the MGs' "Chicken Pox," one of the most badass recordings of the late 1990s. The rest of this disc is a pleasure as well, with funky organic and ambient noises meshing together in perfect harmony.

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