Live at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards, Volume 1
First Appeared at The Music Box, December 2003, Volume 10, #12
Written by John Metzger
The Blues Foundation was established in 1980 as a way to preserve the rich heritage of the blues, and two of its highest profile venues for promoting the genre are The Blues Hall of Fame, which was founded as a means for highlighting past accomplishments, and the W.C. Handy Awards, which annually recognizes the greatest recordings and artists. Much like the Grammys, the blues-oriented ceremony includes live performances, but the difference between the two celebrations is that those in attendance at the W.C. Handy Awards typically are treated to music that is far more interesting and inspired. Witness the ten tracks featured on the recently released compilation Live at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards, Volume 1, all of which are rather remarkable. Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Bandís Seňor Blues positively percolates; Susan Tedeschi sparkles on the smoldering groove of Just Wonít Burn; and Rufus Thomas turns in a funky performance of Walking the Dog. Still, itís Luther Allison and his son Bernard that yield the albumís finest tracks. Despite several issues with the recording of his vocals, Luther unleashes a scorching rendition of Cherry Red Wine ó one that is far too good to allow technical difficulties to exclude it from this set ó while Bernard delivers a passionate take on his late fatherís Bad Love. All of this leaves little doubt that if the first volume of Live at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards is any indication, the second installment certainly will be worth the wait.
Live at the W.C. Handy Awards, Volume 1 is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box