Carey and Lurrie Bell: Gettin Up

[1 July 2007]

By Steve Horowitz

There are few, if any, musicians around today that play Chicago blues better than father and son team of Carey Bell Harrington and Lurrie Bell. The 70-plus-year-old Carey still belts out the blues and blows the harp with passion and feeling. Lurrie plays his axe with machine gun bursts of fury one minute and then falls into a heavy groove the next. He also has a powerful voice, heard to full effect here on Big Joe Williams’ classic moan, “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. This disc was recorded live at three different venues during 2006 soon after Carey came home from the hospital. Two of the gigs were with a band at Chicago blues bars in front of a live audience and the other features just the two of them jamming at Lurrie’s house. All the cuts are smokin’, but the four tracks recorded at Lurrie’s house are especially fine and include a steamy version of J.T. Brown’s “Short Dress Woman”, an mournful cover of Sleepy John Estes’ “Broke and Hungry”, a fiesty rendition of Eddie Vinson’s “When I Get Drunk”, and the traditional gospel tune “Stand By Me”. The range of styles employed stands as proof against the canard that all blues sounds alike.

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