Blues compilations are often bad ideas. Many are simply collections of session leftovers or are recordings from unknown musicians who were unknown for a reason. But the redundantly titled "American Blues Vol. 1" (is there really any other kind?) is a sublime exception. Culled from Stan Lewis' family of labels, the album is a sterling collection of gritty postwar blues, performed by some of music's legends.
Buddy Guy's falsetto and broken-glass guitar runs give an edge to "The Way You've Been Treating Me" while Texas boogie master Lightnin' Hopkins' nicotine baritone wakes up "Breakfast Time." B.B. King and Jimmy Reed offer up excellent standards, while Lowell Fulson, Jimmy Reed and T. Bone Walker wrap their R&B in some silky swing. Sonny Boy Williamson's sly reading of "Steady Rollin' Man" is the only nod to acoustic blues in this excellent collection.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.