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Various Artists: A Celebration Of Blues And Soul

Album Review

Stars of Chess, Stax and Texas blues serenade George Bush Sr.

On January 21, 1989, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Dr John, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble performed at the Presidential Inaugural Concert in honour of the crowning of the first President Bush.

Bizarrely, Lee Atwater, Bush’s campaign manager, was a huge fan of R&B – he instigated the gig – but as Willie Dixon wore a “Jesse Jackson for President” badge at the event, it would be wrong to assume that all the performers were card-carrying Republicans. 

There are some great performances from the Stax artists backed by a band that includes guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn, in particular Bell singing Born Under A Bad Sign with Ronnie Wood on second guitar, Carla Thomas’ emotional When Something Is Wrong With My Baby with Billy Preston, and Sam Moore’s stomping Soul Man. Elsewhere, Collins and Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan tearing through Frosty is blues guitar heaven.

Via Membran/Shout Factory

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