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Millennium Blues

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Album Review

It's an event when Iverson Minter (aka Louisiana Red) puts out a recording, but even rarer a date that has Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, an exceptional blues drummer, wailin' on the harmonica! Add bassist Willie Kent, keyboardist Allen Batts, drummer Dave Jefferson, and second guitarist Brian Bisesi for an excellent blues crew. In the middle is Red's gruff vocal and simple, loping guitar, the catalyst for the fireworks on this authentic roots and contemporary Chicago-style blues CD. These are mostly personal songs, reflecting the tragedy and sorrow of Red's childhood, and the injustice of the current world we live in. The first piece, "Red's Vision," speaks of the President's impeachment, churches burning, and memories of Muddy Waters and Lightnin' Hopkins. "That Detroit Thing" recalls his time in the Motor City. "Arlene Blues" asks "what kinda gal are you?" Then you have good-time tunes like "Let Me Be Your Electrician" so "I can turn your power on." There are three instrumentals, the easygoing swing of "Red's Jazz Groove," the "Killin' Floor"-like "Texas Jump," and the Muddy Waters ramblin' rock of the title track. In the middle of the program is an acoustic guitar and vocals-only autobiographical section, with songs about being in an orphanage, a story about old squeeze "Leechie Geddens," and the tale of running away and being "Home in a Rock." These are more in the Leadbelly to Mississippi Fred McDowell bag, and an intriguing change of pace. Red sounds good, the band sounds good, Smith is a surprisingly good harmonica player, and there's no reason why blues fans everywhere won't get next to this CD by a man who intimately knows the blues from a deep, personal perspective, and is not shy about telling you how he feels. Highly recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 23 March 1932 in Bessemer, AL

Genre: Blues

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

Louisiana Red (born Iverson Minter) was a flamboyant guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist. He lost his parents early in life through multiple tragedies; his mother died of pneumonia a week after his birth, and his father was lynched by the Klu Klux Klan when he was five. Red began recording for Chess in 1949, then joined the Army. After his discharge, he played with John Lee Hooker in Detroit for almost two years in the late '50s, and continued through the '60s and '70s with recording sessions...
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Millennium Blues, Louisiana Red
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