Artist: Hop Wilson Title Of Album: Houston Ghetto Blues Year Of Release: 2011 Label: Bullseye Blues Genre: Blues, Texas Blues Quality: Mp3 Bitrate: 320 kbps Total Time: 48:55 Min Total Size: 121 Mb
1. My Woman Has A Black Cat Bone (Take 2) 2. I'm A Stranger 3. Dance To It (Chicken Stuff #2) 4. I Ain't Got No Woman 5. You Don't Move Me Anymore 6. Rockin' In The Coconuts 7. Need Your Love To Keep Me Warm 8. My Woman Has A Black Cat Bone (Take 1) 9. Merry Christmas Darling (Take 1) 10. I Done Got Over 11. Be Careful With The Blues 12. Merry Christmas Darling (Take 2) 13. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find 14. I Feel So Glad 15. Why Do You Twist 16. I Met A Strange Woman 17. Toot Toot Tootsie 18. My Woman Done Quit Me
With the current trend for "sacred steel," it's interesting to hear steel guitar from the "other side of the tracks." Hop Wilson apparently didn't like touring, and spent most of his musical career playing in Houston, Texas. The recordings featured here are pretty much his entire output. But what an output it is. Hop's lap steel guitar playing is by turns wildly demented and plangently sweet, sometimes within the same phrase. The lap steel adds a different tonal color to the proceedings, and Wilson has a terrific singing voice, perfect for blues, with a mournful edge even on the faster numbers. Drummer Ivory Lee Semien and an unknown vocalist take the mike on two other numbers, but I prefer Wilson's own singing, though they do a fine job.
The "recorded in a bar at midnight" ambience, combined with the occasional amp crackle and buzz, gives you that feeling of presence lost on many modern sanitized blues recordings. The band is loose but tight, and you get the feeling they are into what they're playing and know the material well.
Professional blues critics have compared Hop Wilson to Elmore James, but I frankly don't hear it except on "Be Careful With The Blues," where Wilson lifts the "Dust My Broom" riff and makes it his own in an instrumental. Wilson is less frenetic than James, and throws a lot more variety into his music. As much as I love Elmore James, a lot of his material relied on that "Dust My Broom" riff and stayed in the same key. Wilson has no such limitations. Overall this is a great, downhome, funky recording of a little-known and underappreciated bluesman. I would recommend it highly to anyone who appreciates the real live blues.
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