June 1st, 2006
The most important musician evoked on JSP’s Boogie Uproar: Texas Blues and R&B 1947-1957 doesn’t play a lick on it. It’s impossible to represent Texas blues without including its progenitor, T-Bone Walker, and the period covered by this 4 CD box set is the era when Walker was releasing his most powerful sides–yet the man is missing from the track list. Instead, this interesting collection presents 103 tunes by Walker’s contemporaries, electric guitarists who started out imitating him, then spent years trying to get out from under his shadow. The most famous artist on Boogie Uproar is Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. The Brown I ran into in New Orleans in the late ‘90s was a pistol-packing almost-octogenarian who did things his way, playing country fiddle and jazz guitar in the same show. It’s fascinating, then, to hear him in his early years, playing the swinging, horn-powered sound of Walker, trying to find his swagger and making his own mark on cuts like the instrumental title track. The other performers include Zuzu Bollin, Nelson Carson, Goree Carter, R.B. Thibadeaux and Lester Williams. Some distinguish themselves more than others, and a lot of the material compiled sounds fairly similar. However, the liner notes do a good job of providing an historical snapshot of this seminal blues era–this a solid choice to add some Texas to your blues collection.
Posted by Mack Hagood