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Luther Allison: Love Me Mama

MO’ FROM THE ARCHIVES: Luther Allison, Love Me Mama (Delmark DE-625; 60:44)-this 1969 recording was the Chicago bluesman’s first as a leader, documenting his raw and wild West Side sound. Unparalleled passion in his vocals, tough licks and earthy vibes.Bukka White, Big Daddy (Biograph BCD 145; 43:08)-barrelchested vocals and brutally forceful playing on a National Steel guitar by the Delta blues legend, recorded in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1973, just four years before his death; Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, Masters of the Country Blues (Biograph BCD 144; 58:05)-Huddie Ledbetter belts with gospel-holler intensity on eight tracks recorded in 1935, including “Death Letter Blues” and “T.B. Woman Blues” while Blind Willie demonstrates a more mellifluous vocal style along with an astounding command of the guitar on 13 recordings from 1940. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, East-West Live (Winner 447; 56:47)-sprawling, psychedelic modal-blues jams from 1966-67 captured live (in substandard audio quality) at nightclubs in Chicago, Hollywood and Huntington Beach, featuring much extended (if rambling) guitar work by Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop.

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