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Lowell Fulson: Blue Shadows

Stony Plain is a Canadian label with a catalog of much interest to blues lovers. This set, recorded in Vancouver in 1981, was apparently rediscovered recently. It puts Fulson in the company of the 12-piece Powder Blues, with which he had played a number of club dates. The group comes on with enthusiasm and considerable blues know-how in a lively program of Fulson originals and numbers by T-Bone Walker, Joe Turner and Lloyd Glenn. After ten performances, there’s an interesting 17-minute interview that covers the singer’s association with Texas Alexander, his wartime transfer to California and subsequent career. As guitarist, singer and composer, Fulson’s major contribution to the blues has been of a significance often unrecognized.

Also on the same label are attractive discs by Jimmy Witherspoon with Duke Robillard and Scott Hamilton (SPCD 1211), Jay McShann with Robillard’s band (SPCD 1237), and Robillard’s quartet with four guests (SPCD 1195). A founder of Roomful of Blues, Robillard plays with taste and assurance, and is the well-informed annotator of several of the sets. Scott Hamilton’s knowing, unobtrusive accompaniment to Witherspoon is impressive. And for devotees of Professor Longhair, there’s Fess Gumbo, a charming collection of piano solos plus an interview, (SPCD-1214).

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