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Various Artists, Now This Is What We Call the Blues (Telarc)
Once upon a time, while drudging it out in a writing workshop, I responded to my classmates' unfailing admiration of fellow writers who would submit parts of their work-in-progress novels indicating that they had written 200 pages+, by submitting a story with a gimmick. My gimmick consisted of beginning my story at page 1145 and ending at 1165 so that it would appear to be a part of a larger work. Well, it worked. Almost everyone, including the bloody teacher, told me how they either didn't see how this would fit into the larger scheme of things or how they were incredibly impressed with my incredible ability to write so many pages. It was a bloody joke people! Anyway, Telarc has, in a sense, done the same with this compilation, which they've indicated to be Volume # 420 in a series of, well, one. It's a joke people! Apparently fed up with every other label's pining for an excuse to release or re-release songs from their respective vaults and calling such ! releases "Slow Jams 8" or "The Best of Classic Rock 12" , Telarc basically one-ups the competition. And it's a solid collection, from the blues based rock of Tinsley Ellis and the Hoodoo Kings, to the Cajuny stomp of Tab Benoit, the acoustic laments of slide guitarist Paul Geremia on "Get Right Church" to the horn-drenched blues of veteran Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson. Also included is a beautiful rendition of "Blackbird" by Colin Linden. It's a roster with attitude on a label that knows how to give ya some lip.