Fireworks

CD Reviews

The Steve Miller Band - 'Let Your Hair Down' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ca/1c/3a/1442_SteveMillerBandLetYourHairDown_1310755705.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 15, 2011    
 
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A welcome addition to my SMB collection.

This is the companion volume to 'Bingo!', and continues the blues and "rock'n'soul" vibes found thereon. It is a further celebration of the musical keystones of Miller's musical life, this time including songs by such blues greats as Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Jimmy McCracklin. The latter name may be less familiar - as Miller writes in the notes accompanying the track 'The Walk'- "when Muddy and Wolf and Willie were getting started in Chicago…McCracklin was out on the West Coast...He took that blues groove to Oakland and had a completely different experience."

There is a great variety within the genres identified across the 14 tracks on the very nice digipack that houses the Special Edition release of this album, and the notes from Miller about the artists who have inspired him and the reasons for the tracks he has selected this time around makes for a great read. The album is also a great listen, and my oh my - I just wish that every album I have to review sounded the million bucks that this one does! Not only does it sound great, but each and every vocal and instrumental contribution shines like silver. In particular, the late Norton Buffalo sprinkles his fabulous harmonica playing across many of the songs: though it is the vocals and guitar contributions by the band leader himself that take centre stage: not that he is the main vocalist on all of the songs. However, once again, my own favourites here are all ones upon which his inimitable vocals are to be found: 'No More Doggin' (which Miller suggests would sound good if The Four Freshmen, The Beach Boys or Take Six had done it); the uptempo Willie Dixon song 'Pretty Thing' (that includes an oft-copied riff) and the first of the four bonus cuts 'When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too)' originally performed by Elmore James: a simply great twelve bar blues song.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Now, I was supplied with the basic 10 track album as a promo, but once again if you are going to purchase this album would you really want a CD lasting barely 30 minutes? Even the 14 tracks housed in the wonderfully packaged Special Edition only clock in at just under 42 minutes: so not great value for money! In any case, the vendor from whom I purchased mine had the basic and special editions at the same price: so a no-brainer, and a load of nonsense if you ask me. The Special Edition should have been the one and only edition…Anyway, enough of the grumpy old man, and let me just conclude by suggesting that this is really a peach of an album, if you like this sort of thing. It's certainly a welcome addition to my SMB collection – even if I might still prefer some new original compositions. Next time, pleez, Mr Miller?

Paul Jerome Smith

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