Downchild Blues Band, not to be missed
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If you think you might be interested in listening to one of the prime historical precursors to Cray's mix, try picking up a collection by the late, great Magic Sam. Combining the lighter, soul-inflected vocal leanings with the economical but incisive guitar style, charismatic presence, and strong original material, performed by a younger (and prettier!) member of a new generation of urban electric blues inheritors coming up in the mid-60's, it's not hard to see and hear Sam's inspiring influence on Cray. Unfortunately, this talented pioneer, who promised to be one of the future leaders in the genre, died tragically young, so his recorded legacy is not huge, but what is there is very choice indeed.
I would recommend getting "Showdown" which features your main man himself with the late Johnny Copeland and the late Albert Collins, both worth the price of admission on their own. I concur with the Duke Robillard recommendation, and, while you're at it, don't forget his old band, Roomful of Blues. If you can find Zuzu Bollin's " Texas Bluesman" on Antone's, you should not hesitate to part with your coins. Good day
They came out of Rhode Island in the mid 70s, the original Roomful Of Blues with Duke Robillard out front on guitar. Not as soulful as Cray, they were more into a jazz/swing thing. I recommend their eponymous first album and it's follow-up, "Let's Have A Party". Robillard was (and still is) a big disciple of T-Bone Walker.
Robillard is also fetured on two high quality Johnny Adams recordings, "A Room with a View of the Blues" and "Walking On A Tightrope. Robillard appears again on both of Joe Beard's Audioquest label releases "Dealin'" and "For Real". The Adam's records are soulful with Beard dipping deeper into the blues.
Mighty Sam McClain Give it up to love audioquest xrcd neat guitar licks, BIG HAMMOND B-3 sound and tight vocals , there is a neat cd out Memohis Horns with different tracks Mr. Cray being one , one of my favorites Warren Haynes does a knock out version of " I've been loving you too long" definately worth having. Check out some of Gary Moore's stuff he can get pretty funky plus don't rule out Buddy Guy He has his moments too.
If you're located near a music store called "Hear Music", I'd recommend stopping by. Perhaps, search one out for future travels. They have an outstanding system of exhibiting music. They have many, many listening stations as well as a listening bar for any CD in the store. They're great with acoustic blues, electric blues, jazz, and world music. They also showcase unusual and unknown recording artists. They're proprietary compilation CD's are fantastic. Check them out if you can. Be prepared to spend a few hours there. No, I don't work for them. I was a regular patron at their Santa Monica store in L.A. They far surpass any chain store such as Virgin, Tower, or even Amoeba. I moved to N.Y. a few weeks ago and miss them dearly.