Thursday, February 07, 2008

Various Artists - Maximum Mojo (Electro Fi, 2007)

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, blues record lablel Electro-Fi released a mid priced two-CD sampler of music the label released. Some heavy hitters in modern blues have passed through the label during the past decade like Snooky Pryor, Billy Boy Arnold, Pinetop Perkins, Harmonica Shah and Willie “Big Eyes" Smith. The label has focused admirably on the no nonsense old school blues and that is heavily represented here with the likes of Sam Myers tough talking "Tired of Your Jive"and "Slow Down" by Snooky Pryor. The label also kept an eye out for forward looking blues talent as well and made a major discovery in Fruteland Jackson who is represented here with two songs, "Blues 2.0" and "Blues Over Baghdad" which meld traditional blues music with lyrics that explore modern social issues. There are even some admirable cuts of piano blues, like "Blackberry Wine" by Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne and "Pinetop's Grinderman Blues" by the unbeatable combination of Pinetop Perkins and Snooky Pryor. This is a well done and economical introduction to modern blues, and gives hope that this great music has a future.

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