Various Artists

Motor City Blues

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Motor City Blues Review

by Greg Prato

When one thinks of Detroit, the kind of musical styles that immediately come to mind are the soulful sounds of Motown and primal hard rock like the Stooges, the MC5, and Ted Nugent. While most blues artists are forever associated with the South, Detroit has always been a supporter of blues and roots music. On September 8, 1973, the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival took place at the Otis Spann Memorial Field, and the 1998 release Motor City Blues compiles the day's highlights. Over 73 minutes in length, the disc is jam-packed with great performances, featuring many obscure artists who prove to be just as talented as the renowned blues giants (Muddy Waters, Albert King, etc.). Some of the artists stray from the standard blues format and incorporate funky rock sounds into their blues, such as Eddie Kirkland's hyper-jamfest "Mojo in Her Backbone" and Little Junior's "I Got My Eyes on You," while the rest of the featured performances are more straight-ahead blues. Other highlights include "24 Years" (Bobo Jenkins), "I Call It Love" (Eddie Burns), "Chicago Breakdown" (Dr. Ross), and "Please Mr. Foreman" (Joe L.), among many others. A truly great blues collection.

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