I'm on the road this week, attending a meeting, so I'm blogging from a hotel room this week. Needless to say, I don't have many resources at hand, so this may be a short post. I think we'll be looking at a couple of items of interest, plus a few new releases.
In the late 90's, he emerged as a front man on several successful albums for Fedora, Black Magic, and Cannonball, where he recorded one of his most familiar tunes, "Cadillac Blues."
After Cannonball folded, Bassett didn't return to the studio until 2009, but he was able to release two more discs......the last one, I Can Make That Happen, being released just a month ago.
I haven't heard his last couple of releases, but I heard all of his 90's material and I loved his laid-back, almost jazzy style, mixing T-Bone Walker/B.B. King-style guitar with his deep, mellow vocals. I remember seeing him years ago at the Handys in Memphis (around '99). He played "Cadillac Blues" at the Orpheum and sounded great. As my brother and I were leaving, we were walking behind him as he was walking out. He was holding his guitar case in one hand and his wife's hand in the other. He will be much missed on the Motor City blues circuit.
We'll be looking at some big new releases over the next few weeks, but this week, check out these mini-reviews. As always, check out the upcoming issue of Blues Bytes for more details about these discs.
Fun On A Saturday Night (Rip Cat Records) is their first in eight years. It's a fun romp, with more of a focus on the blues than usual, with songs like Magic Sam's "Love Me With A Feeling," Sonny Boy Williamson's "No More Nights By Myself," and Tiny Bradshaw's "Well Oh Well." There's also a cool redo of the Johnny Cash/June Carter duet, "Jackson," with X's Exene Cervenka joining Phil Alvin on vocals. This is a fun disc that could only be better if it was longer.
My Kinda Blues (Blue Rock Records), is probably your kind as well. The band rips through a rousing set of original tunes, plus a great Chicago-style cover of the late Dave Thompson's "You Took My Baby." Guest artists Kenny Neal and the great Guitar Shorty also stop by to lend a hand, but this is Dennis Jones' show. If you like this new release, check out Jones' previous work, plus his new DVD, Live at the Temecula Theater.
Been There Done That, is his best yet. In fact, this is one of the best Chicago Blues albums I've heard in a while. Alexander has a warm vocal style, his songs are good, and he's a strong guitarist. Delmark has been on a roll with their latest run of releases, and Been There Done That continues the hot streak.