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Album Review

When Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown walked into the studio in the early '80s to record Alright Again!, he had already had an illustrious career by most standards. Yet, much of Gate's best output had been behind him by more than two decades; with Alright Again!, he set out to prove he was still a relevant artist. The album won Brown a Grammy, and its follow-up, One More Mile, was a Grammy-nominated record as well. Texas Swing combines the two records, culling 17 tracks from the sessions. Listening to this album, it is easy to see why the songs had such impact. Never one to be pigeonholed, Brown and his backup band move from slick blues on "Frosty" and "One More Mile" to breezy swing reminiscent of the best big bands on Roy Milton's "Information Blues" and Brown's own "Dollar Got the Blues." As a listener, it is fascinating to hear Brown pull the tiny nuances out of his guitar, giving the instrumentals and solos previously unheard depth and confirming his position as a master musician.


Born: 18 April 1924 in Vinton, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Whatever you do, don't refer to multi-instrumentalist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown as a bluesman, although his imprimatur on the development of Texas blues is enormous. You're liable to get him riled. If you must pigeonhole the legend, just call him an eclectic Texas musical master whose interests encompass virtually every roots genre imaginable. Brown learned the value of versatility while growing up in Orange, TX. His dad was a locally popular musician who specialized in country, Cajun, and bluegrass...
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