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Good Blues to You

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Album Review

In the tradition of Willie Dixon and Willie Kent, Burton leads his blues band from the electric bass guitar chair. He's an excellent singer — like a more pronounced, forceful B.B. King — and his musical foundation on the bottom is immaculate. Brother Larry co-leads on guitar, Dave Specter and Lurrie Bell play seconds, and Lester Davenport and Billy Branch split duties on harmonica, as do drummers Tino Cortez and Vern Rodgers. The Chicago Horns are in on two cuts, and the marvelous pianist Allen Batts jams throughout. Larry Burton wrote two of the 11 numbers; the best is the definitive anthem "Stuck in Chicago," with the lyric "everyday it's the same/I work six nights a week/still no one knows my name" sung deliberately and frustratingly slow. "Good Idea at the Time" features group vocals over Batts' exceptional boogie-woogie piano and a slight New Orleans shuffle. The six Aaron Burton tunes are highlighted by the horn-fired funky title track "Too Late to Apologize," the 12-bar "Southbound Train," and the totally downhearted "The Woman I Met Out in the Rain." Branch stirs souls with his spine-shivering harmonica licks during the funky horn-driven "Good Blues" and the much slower "Marryin' Game." Classics like the Albert King evergreen "I'll Play the Blues for You," "Next Time You See Me," and the tone-setting, feel-good kicker "No More Draggin'" prove Burton's dedication to his idiom by recognizing and adding to these immortal blues tunes. This is Burton's third album as a leader, after decades of backing up Junior Wells, Fenton Robinson, Albert Collins, James Cotton, and others. It may be hard to be a star behind a bass, but Burton has succeeded, as evidenced by these "good blues." ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 15 June 1938 in Senatobia, MS

Genre: Blues

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

Long recognized as a rock-solid bassist (and a master landscaper for the Chicago Park District), Aron Burton has begun to emphasize his vocal talents more prominently of late. His 1993 Earwig album Past, Present and Future showcased both of Burton's specialties, eastablishing him as bandleader instead of bandsman. Burton left Mississippi for Chicago in 1955. He got his feet wet as a singer and bassist in the late '50s with Freddy King at Walton's Corner on the West side (King bought Aron his first...
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Good Blues to You, Aron Burton
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