Friday, January 18, 2008

Rockers Going Back to the Blues

An increasing trend in recent years is that rockers as they get older start going back to their Blues roots. Two such rockers recently caught my attention with their latest CDs. Alvin Lee blew me away with Saguitar, and Leslie West shook me with Collection.

Alvin Lee has been known for his high-energy, fast-paced guitar licks since we saw him play at Woodstock way back when. Those licks have aged like fine wine or should I say Tequila because they still have a lot of bite. Of course, there is something else there that can be gained only from decades on the road. That something is the Blues, and that something will make you Blues lovers out there really sit up and take notice.

Alvin expresses this new found Blues quality most eloquently in
Motel Blues. You can hear the weariness in his voice and feel the toll that those years on the road have taken. It's All Good really says it all, and I continued my lessons in the Blues with Education.

Leslie West shows us the power that we heard in his Mountain days, and that power has grown to be bigger than a mountain. It is now edged with the Blues to give it a foundation that reaches down to where Earthquakes are formed. He explores that very base in Sinner's Prayer. He really makes you feel for the man heading to the gallows in House of the Rising Sun, and rolls through the tunnel that goes under the mountain in Whisky Train.


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