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Do Your Thing!

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Album Review

Do Your Thing! demonstrates that a bluesman doesn't have to be a fantastic vocalist to provide a meaningful album. Best known in Chicago blues circles for his ten years as James Cotton's guitarist, Michael Coleman isn't a singer's singer. He is an adequate singer with a relaxed, laid-back vocal style that owes a lot to Jimmy Reed, but as a guitarist, Coleman obviously has sizable chops. And thankfully, he takes a lot of guitar solos on Do Your Thing!, which has as much to do with pre-1980 soul and funk as it does with electric Chicago blues. Not that Coleman (who was 44 when this CD was recorded in July 2000) isn't an expressive singer — he doesn't have massive pipes, but he still gets his points across on 12-bar blues numbers (including Reed's "You Don't Have to Go" and Robert Geddins' "Tin Pan Alley") as well as soul classics like Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay," Isaac Hayes' "Do Your Thing," and Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out." Meanwhile, Coleman pleasantly surprises the listener with an instrumental version of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman," which was also recorded by Santana — and which really gives him a chance to stretch out on guitar. And equally surprising is Coleman's interpretation of Jimi Hendrix's "Message of Love," which he changes from crunching hard rock to bluesy, rock-influenced soul. Do Your Thing! isn't a masterpiece, but it's a decent effort from an impressive guitarist who is also a likable, if limited, singer.


Born: 24 June 1956 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Michael Coleman (1891-1945) of Killavil, Sligo county, Ireland, is one of the seminal figures in Irish and Irish-American traditional music. He came to the United States in 1914 and became a successful performer of Irish music in vaudeville and variety theaters across America. He settled in New York City, where Irish music was in great demand by the large Irish population. Between 1921 and 1944 he recorded many 78 rpm recordings of fiddle music that even today exert a great influence on players both...
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Do Your Thing!, Michael Coleman
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