“The Blues Never Die!” by Otis Spann - album review

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TJR says

Recorded in Chicago, Illinois on November 21st, 1964. 2 tracks gets a reworking – “I Got A Feeling” (The Blues Of Otis Spann, 1964) and “Must Have Been The Devil” (Portraits In Blues Vol.3, 1963). On board for this fine session were: James Cotton (harmonica, vocals) Otis Spann (piano, vocals) James Madison (guitar), Muddy Waters (guitar) Milton Rector (bass) and S.P. Leary (drums). It’s quite surprising that James Cotton doesn’t get co-billing status; he plays a big role in the sound of the LP and contributes 4 originals of his own, including “Straighten Up, Baby” and “Lightnin’”, two of the better tracks. Overall, side 2 provides the stronger half. It opens with a storming version of the blues standard, “Dust My Broom”. Here, Otis and his gang pay their respects to the recently deceased Elmore James; their message was loud and clear on the front cover of the album itself. All players shine on “Come On”, an Otis original which swings along as cool as you like. You get the feeling they’re all having a ball. The album has largely been centred on Otis’s piano and James’s harmonica; both get to strut their stuff on the afore-metioned “Lightnin’”, an instrumental which positively grooves with a good time vibe, second last from home. The album’s second cover arrives at the very close; they take on Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready” which had originally been done by Muddy Waters himself back in ‘54. It’s played in a very relaxed, laid back fashion; could perhaps do with being a bit tougher on that back beat. I get the feeling that they’re just happy doin’ their own thing with no attempt to bring the house down, and, on reflection, it’s hard to argue against that outlook – it’s made the album the homely, intuitive affair that it undoubtedly is.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:40] 6.0.png Otis Spann - The Blues Never Die (Otis Spann) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A2 [02:50] 6.2.png Otis Spann - I Got A Feeling (Otis Spann) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [03:45] 5.4.png Otis Spann - One More Mile To Go (James Cotton) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A4 [03:25] 6.0.png Otis Spann - Feelin’ Good (James Cotton) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A5 [03:57] 5.5.png Otis Spann - After Awhile (Otis Spann) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B1 [02:40] 8.0.png Otis Spann - Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson, Elmore James) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:30] 6.6.png Otis Spann - Straighten Up, Baby (James Cotton) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B3 [02:38] 6.5.png Otis Spann - Come On (Otis Spann) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B4 [02:38] 6.0.png Otis Spann - Must Have Been The Devil ‘64 (Otis Spann) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:40] 6.7.png Otis Spann - Lightnin’ (James Cotton) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [03:03] 6.0.png Otis Spann - I’m Ready (Willie Dixon) Blues / Rhythm n Blues


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