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Album Review

This collaboration is the first full-length release from like-minded bluesmen guitarist Corey Harris and pianist Henry Butler. Although they had previously played together on live dates, the only other time they appear on CD is on Harris' Greens From the Garden. These 15 tracks cover more ground than the mere term "blues" implies. The duo recalls not only the best of traditional piano/guitar music of the '20s and '30s, but also New Orleans soul, barrelhouse, ragtime, and Delta blues. To their credit, Harris and Butler have the ability to bring these traditions into a modern context while retaining the soul that some modern blues recordings lack. Not only are duet settings heard but a few solo spots are featured. The playing is phenomenal, which shouldn't overshadow the emotional vocal performances, including the a cappella gospel on "Why Don't You Live So God Can Use You?" that closes out this highly recommended disc.

Biography

Born: 21 September 1949 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Blues

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

Henry Butler's blues-based, New Orleans funk-style piano playing is not for every blues fan, to be sure. Butler is a local legend in New Orleans, but rarely tours other parts of the country; most any time of the year he can be found playing in one of New Orleans' famous night spots. It's not an exaggeration to say Butler is a piano genius who has yet to be discovered by the masses. His recordings demonstrate that he can do it all: he writes his own songs, does his own arrangements of classic tunes...
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Vü-Dü Menz, Henry Butler
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