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Sleepy LaBeef: Rockabilly Blues

Guitarist-singer proto-rocker Sleepy LaBeef bellows in his inimitable barrel-chested baritone on Rockabilly Blues (Bullseye Blues Basics 11661-9631-2; 37:43). This compilation, culled from four Rounder studio sessions from the early ’80s through the late ’90s, focuses on the big man’s bluesy side with juicy renditions of Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights, Big City,” Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up,” and Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy.” He dips into his Sun Records rockabilly bag on “Bottle Up and Go,” “Night Train to Memphis,” “Fool About You” and “Rooster Blues,” featuring Cajun great Jo-El Sonnier on accordion. And his rendition of Skeets McDonald’s “Make Room for the Blues” is pure country. Alligator Records has also released similar compilations of blues artists on its roster during the ’80s as part of its Deluxe Edition series.

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