A CD release for the very rare Smokey Wilson album recorded for Big Town in the late 70s. Wilson was the natural successor to Howling Wolf, with a similarly astonishing voice, who produced some of the finest blues of the 70s. When many were succumbing to the over-processed sounds of the day, Smokey was still down and dirty like good blues ought to be. This is the first UK release for Smokey Wilson apart from two tracks that appeared on Lindi Waters' Cascade blues box. Many of the tracks were speeded up in the original mix and these have been restored to the correct tempo of their recording. The legendary George 'Harmonica' Smith features on several tracks. Includes five previously unreleased tracks.
This West Coast-based guitarist shines brilliantly on his third album for Bullseye Blues. While some of his earlier locally produced efforts have been uneven affairs, here kudos must go forth to producer and keyboard sideman Ron Levy. Levy keeps Wilson's guitar tone at sting and bite level 10 and his vocals right up front and toasty, surrounding him with a solid rhythm section and spare horn stabs. Eight of the 12 songs here are from Smokey's prolific pen, including "You Don't Drink What I Drink," and the title track, "Too Drunk To Drive," "Don't Tangle With Me," and "Black Widow," winners all. A quartet of covers (Magic Sam's "Easy Baby," Elmore James' "Something Inside Of Me" and a pair of Howlin' Wolf tunes, "Louise" and "44 Blues," with the latter featuring a guest turn from James Harman) rounds out this excellent session. Those who can't get enough of nasty, stinging lead guitar lines would do well to investigate this album.
Transplanted Mississippian Smokey Wilson has made plenty of records, but usually for poorly distributed regional labels. So although he is far from a newcomer, he might as well be a fledgling rookie to the average listener. The songs, aside from the lyrically commendable but awkward "Don't Burn Down L.A.," are primarily his own urgent expositions on love, life's unfairness, and pain. His playing blends slamming fills, chunky riffs, and sonic barrages mixed with expert uses of distortion, bent notes, and flashy chords. This is the kind of no-nonsense set that has earned Rounder/Bullseye its exemplary reputation.
The first-ever collection to celebrate the contribution and career of cherished Motown star Mary Wilson. The Motown Anthology features 38 songs. Featured songwriters include Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Deke Richards, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Thom Bell and Linda Creed.