Songs Of Willie Dixon

Full size album art
Catalog: CD83452
Format: CD

1. Spoonful 2. When The Lights Go Out 3. Do Me Right 4. Mellow Down Easy 5. Bring It On Home - Kenny Neal 6. I Ain't Superstitious 7. Crazy For My Baby 8. Wang Dang Doodle 9. The Same Thing 10. Shakin' The Shack 11. My Love Will Never Die 12. Good Understanding 13. If The Sea Was Whiskey 14. I Just Wanna Make Love To You - Eric Demmer

The figure of the late Willie Dixon, bassist, producer, songwriter, and primary mover-and-shaker of the modern Chicago blues scene, continues to tower over the contemporary blues landscape. On this tribute, 14 of Dixon's classic songs receive remakes from an eclectic assortment of blues stars, mostly anchored by Muddy Waters rhythm-section bassist Calvin Jones and drummer Willie Smith. Kenny Neal, a triple threat on guitar, harp, and vocals, comes closest to re-creating the seminal Muddy mode with "Bring It On Home." Saxophonist Eddie Shaw belts out a forcefully authentic "I Ain't Superstitious," and Smith, with help from harmonica hero Jerry Portnoy, delivers a take on "The Same Thing" that's very much in the tradition. But much of the fun is hearing how the songs sound in new arrangements. Tab Benoit's "Mellow Down Easy" lives up to its title, while Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown puts a fresh spin on the macho blues anthem "I Just Want to Make Love to You," and Deborah Coleman completely recasts "Good Understanding." Not everything works perfectly, but even the misfires are interesting since the talent level is so high and the musicians are all obviously Dixon devotees. --Michael Point

Price: $18.98