Corey_harris_henry_butler-vu-du_menz_span3
November 2000

Corey Harris/Henry Butler
Vu-Du Menz
Alligator Records

On Vu-Du Menz (Alligator 4872; 54:15), guitarist Corey Hart joins forces with New Orleans piano man Henry Butler for a collection of rollicking guitar-piano duets in the vein of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell or Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. The two exhibit an uncanny sense of interplay and eloquence on original material that carries the authentic, vibrant spirit of the '20s and '30s. "Let 'em Roll" is sheer good times while "If I Was Your Man" is an urgent plea from a lovelorn soul. Harris' "Sugar Daddy" is right out of ragtime while Butler's "There's No Substitute for Love" was forged in the church. "Mulberry Row" is a song about the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his mistress/slave Sally Hemmings while Butler's solo turn on "L'Espirit de James," a heavy groover with rococo embellishments in the right hand, is no doubt a tribute to New Orleans piano prince James Booker. And Harris' "Shake What Your Mama Gave You" is a lusty romp that recalls the '20s. This is timeless, powerful stuff-then and now.

Originally published in November 2000
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