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We the People

Guitar Shorty

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Album Review

Known for his dazzling stage show, which is highlighted by all manner of leaps, somersaults, and other assorted guitar-playing gymnastics, Guitar Shorty on disc is generally a poor substitute, but he still radiates tremendous energy on this set from Alligator Records. His guitar playing is rich, deep, and heavy as plutonium on these tracks; his vocals are strong and soulful, and there's little doubt that after nearly 50 years in the blues business Shorty is still going strong. Working with a hard blues-rock combo that features Jake Andrews on rhythm guitar, Wyzard on bass, John Thomas on keyboards, and Alvino Bennett on drums, Shorty roars through these cuts like a train at full steam, and he sounds confident and assured, a Texas blues man completely on top of his game. Highlights include a blistering "Runaway Train," the metaphor-drenched "Fine Cadillac," and two powerful and topical Guitar Shorty originals, "We the People" and "Cost of Livin'," both of which address the economic duress that still creates poverty in the U.S. in the 21st century. In all, We the People is nicely balanced between hard rocking party numbers, straight out blues pieces, and strong political statement, making it a timeless and completely current blues record.

Biography

Born: 08 September 1939 in Belhaven, NC

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

When he's not turning somersaults, doing backward flips, and standing on his head — all while playing, of course — Guitar Shorty is prone to cutting loose with savagely slashing licks on his instrument. Live, he's simply amazing — and after some lean years, his latter-day albums for...
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We the People, Guitar Shorty
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