As startling and eye-grabbing as the cover art is, it does not hold a candle to the aural pleasure and surprises contained on the disk. If you don't like your raw blues mixed with gospel, rockabilly, and New Orleans rhythms, this may not be your cup of tea -- unless you just flat out love good and innovative music. If you take Howlin' Wolf (Linden's friend and hero) and mix him with the slide guitar work of Ry Cooder (this isn't the raw Elmore James style), then throw in some early Band along with some gospel harmonies in the style of Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, just for good measure, you'll begin to get an idea of the richness offered here. The combination of a fertile and full sound quality with a wide variety of musical styles makes for a disc that never gets dull or "same" sounding. A real appreciation and love for the experience of this music comes through on this album. This is a disc that was made to express the appreciation that Colin Linden, along with the musicians whom he has assembled, feels for this music. From the deep, swampy "Love Everyone" to the funk that crosses Memphis/Muscle Shoals and New Orleans in "Twister" to the gospel-tinged "Ride With Me," and throughout, this disc bubbles and percolates with a solid, in-your-face attitude towards the music. John Whynot sitting in the producer's chair probably lends big support to Linden's relaxed style and manner. Captured here are the rare moments of a band just after their final sound check with all the technical things tweaked and twisted; they're bubbling with straight-ahead brashness and cutting loose to get it out and play it to the hilt. Both of Linden's two Compass discs (Through the Storm, Through the Night) are absolute stunners.
Raised by Wolves Review
by Bob Gottlieb