James Solberg

L.A. Blues [Ruf]

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An album from Luther Allison's long-standing bandleader of the last several years. Released a few months after Allison's death, the album can be taken as a tribute album by Solberg of sorts to his old boss. Utilizing a strong, distorted tone throughout, Solberg keeps Luther's high-energy approach alive on a batch of shuffles ("Bubba's Boogie," "Must Be a Reason"), slow blues ("L.A. Blues," "Ballad of a Thin Man"), and uptempo rockers ("Wally World U.S.A.," "Rhumba Juice"). Midtempo shuffles abound in tracks like "A Closer Walk with Thee," "Robb's Souffle" and the closing "Happy Snails." The music on this record is heartfelt and inspired, a moving tribute. Fans of Allison's final work will say his memory is well served here.

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