W.C. Handy Awards Blues Albums Of The Year

Solomon Burke: Don't Give Up On Me

Solomon Burke: Don't Give Up On Me
Peppered from songs penned by the likes of Tom Waits, Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan, purists would think this cd not to be steeped in the blues. They would be very far from right. Solomon Burke, after nearly 50 recorded years to his credit, remains one of the most soulful voices in R&B. And this release proves it. Peppered indeed! "Don't Give Up On Me" is hot rhythm 'n' blues at its best.

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W.C. Clark in Las Vegas 2001 From Austin With Soul
W.C. Clark certainly does come packaged with soul. In Texas he's known as "The Godfather of Austin Blues" and it's a title well deserved. After all Stevie Ray Vaughan asked him to join his Triple Threat Revue. He also co-wrote "Cold Shot" for the band.

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Big Jack Johnson: Memphis Barbeque Sessions

Memphis Barbeque Sessions
Contemporary blues musician Big Jack Johnson was born in Lambert, Mississippi in 1940. His music, however, harkens back to post war blues. Sessions was produced by Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who also adds his fine harp playing to the album. This is Johnson's first acoustic release and has that old school feel. Although even when Big Jack plays electric guitar it's with amazing acoustic stylings. Memphis Barbeque Sessions is sure to please Kim Wilson fans, and will recruit many new fans for Big Jack Johnson.

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Shemekia Copeland: Talking To Strangers

Shemekia Copeland: Talking To Strangers
Opening with Arthur Neilson's slide guitar, "Livin' On Love" kick starts the highly anticipated Talking To Strangers, Shemekia Copeland's new CD that's chock full of hot cuts. "Two's A Crowd" is a rocking blues number that shows off Shemekia's powerful pipes. ...though she may be daddy's [Johnny Copeland] little girl, her great big voice makes her so much more than that. -- Don Brown Sr. Caught Live Too!

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Charlie Musselwhite: One Night In America Charlie Musselwhite: One Night In America While probably too countrified for most blues fans, this album hits right home to the heartland of America. Charlie Musselwhite has excellent support from jazz/bluesman Roben Ford on guitar and country sweetheart Kelly Willis on angelic backup vocals. Musselwhite has the knack of being laid back and foot tappin' all at once. He'll take you from "Trail Of Tears" to "Ain't That Lovin' You Baby" all in one fell swoop. Country-blues or Americana roots music (the title track comes from Los Lobos' "One Time One Night") this is a great CD. Just listen to "Blues Overtook Me" Buy from Amazon.com

This concludes the first in the series of the Blues Albums of the W.C. Handy Awards. Look for more to be forthcoming. In addition, if time allows, there will follow reviews, interviews, and photography features of many award winning or nominated artists.

copyright © 2003 jazzInternet.com & Moondog Productions. Photos by R.J. Bianchino

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Shemekia Copeland "Talking To Strangers"
2003 Handy Awards Nominees
23rd W.C. Hany Awards
Shemekia's Interview
W.C. Clark Photos

Soul Blues Albums

Etta James Burnin' Down The House! Burnin' Down The House
Etta James live at the HOB
...and she do burn!

Little Milton: Guitar Man Little Milton: Guitar Man
Milton Campbell has been up for numerous Handy Awards, most of them in the soul blues category. Last year he walked away with two honors.

Syl and Jimmy Johnson
Two Johnsons Are Better Than One

Contemporary Blues

Joe Louis Walker: In The MorningJoe Louis Walker's In The Morning is a complete album. It's mixed with electric blues, soul, gospel and Walker's incredible talent. Includes a cover of the Rolling Stones' instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (the address of the legendary Chess Records studio). Need I say more.

John Mooney: All I Want All I Want     With this release, John Mooney has his guitar sliding from the Delta ("Son's Blues") to Cresent City ("Hey Little Girl"). Mooney's in top form on this blistering cd.

Otis Taylor jammin' in Memphis, 2002
Otis Clay in Memphis 2002

Otis Taylor: Respect The Dead
After only four releases, in about as many years, Otis Taylor has more than made a name for himself. He has critics talking genius. His second CD "When Negroes Walked The Earth" was critically acclaimed but suffered because of poor distribution. The same mistake was not made with "White African" which went on to garner four 2002 W.C. Handy nominations. Taylor walked off with Best New Artist Debut. This year "Respect The Dead" is nominated for two awards. It is his strongest album to date. And that's saying alot. Listen to all of Otis Taylor's recordings and respect the genius.


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