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Album Review

Gary "B.B." Coleman's premature death in the late 1990s was quite a loss for the blues world. In 1998, Ichiban looked back on Coleman's years with the label with Retrospectives. This CD (which spans 1987-1992) was part of Ichiban's blues-oriented Retrospectives series, which also included collections by Jerry McCain, Trudy Lynn and Luther "Houserocker" Johnson. This CD points to the fact that while Coleman was never an innovator, he was a soulful electric bluesman who often put a lot of heart into his stories. Ichiban provides a well-rounded picture of the singer/guitarist; humorous offerings like "Welfare Cadillac," "Romance Without Finance Is a Nuisance" and "Don't Give That Recipe Away" are heard along with brooding, dark performances of "St. James Infirmary" and Elmore James' "The Sky Is Cryin'." For listeners wanting to explore Coleman's Ichiban output, Retrospectives would be an appropriate stating point.


Born: 1947 in Paris, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

After a career as a local bluesman and blues promoter in Texas and Oklahoma, Gary Coleman found his niche when he signed over his first album, a self-produced outing originally issued on his own label, to the fledgling Ichiban company out of Atlanta in 1986. Since that time, both Coleman and Ichiban have made their marks in the blues field: not only did Coleman release half-a-dozen of his own albums, he also oversaw production of the bulk of Ichiban's hefty blues catalog, bringing to the studio a...
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Retrospectives: Gary B.B. Coleman, Gary B.B. Coleman
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