Friday, September 21, 2018

Another Blues Fix Mix CD - Volume Two, Track Twelve

As I've mentioned several times, the first blues recording I ever picked up was Showdown!, from Texas blues legends Albert Collins and Johnny Clyde Copeland, along with a newcomer who was attracting a lot of attention during the mid 80's, Robert Cray.  It's not much of an exaggeration to say that listening to this album was a life-changing experience for your humble correspondent.  Today, some 32 years later, I'm still hooked on the blues in a big way.  The music still grabs me just as tightly as it did in March of 1986, when I plugged this cassette into my car stereo.

There are several songs from Showdown! that would be an excellent fit on a blues fix mix CD, but the one I chose for Track Twelve of Volume Two was the song that drew me to the music the most.  Copeland wrote "Bring Your Fine Self Home," and he and Collins are at their absolute best (Cray sat this one out).  The Iceman even broke out his harmonica for this track and he and Copeland set the mood from the beginning with a little banter.  

Copeland was always a powerful singer, and he really pulls out all the stops on this one.....yes, Shemekia Copeland is his daughter, in case you didn't know.  Although he recorded frequently, beginning in the late 50's, he really didn't break out until the 80's, when he recorded Copeland Special and Texas Twister (the latter with appearances from Stevie Ray Vaughan), both of which were still fairly new releases when Showdown! hit stores.  His vocal made a believer out of me, and when Collins launched into his barbed wire solo about midway through, it raised chill bumps the first time I heard it.

Like I said, this CD was a life-changer, and this is only one of the fantastic tunes featured.  Each guitarist had some great moments on Showdown! and the end result was a Grammy in 1987 for Best Traditional Blues Album.  It's still Alligator Records' best-selling album of all time and I can't recommend it highly enough.  It's unfortunate that these guys never got the chance to team up again, though Collins did appear on one of Cray's early 90's albums shortly before his death. 

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