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Johnnie Bassett: Blues Insurgents on Cadillac Blues

Fellow Detroit musician Johnnie Bassett lays down a more sophisticated, urbane version of the blues with his Blues Insurgents on Cadillac Blues (Cannonball 29103; 57:30). A bit younger than Kirkland at age 62, Bassett is a purveyor of a smoother sound, as on the easy-going title track, the hip, swinging “I Can’t Get It Together,” the jump blues “Raise The Roof, Raise The Rent” and the humorous shuffle “Dog House Is My Home.” He testifies with feeling, both vocally and with guitar, on “Broke In Pieces.” And when pushed to it, he can be nasty, as on “Dresser Drawers.” But in general, Bassett tends to play it cool, a la Johnny Adams or Percy Mayfield, as opposed to the gritty, rip-roarin’ approach of his Motown colleague Eddie Kirkland. Produced by organ-hound Ron Levy, this one gradually and subtly insinuates itself rather than grabbing you by the throat.

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