2015 – Down in the Alley Records
By Phillip Smith; Feb 26, 2016
Modern blues compilation albums don’t get much better than The Blues Had a Baby. This outstanding tribute to Muddy Waters is the brainchild of co-producers Mike Suttles and “Screamin” John Hawkins. In Suttle’s own words, “The Muddy Water project is my attempt to keep the blues alive by introducing it to a wider group of music lovers”. After enlisting a dozen of the finest musicians in Louisville, Kentucky, each was asked to record a song.
From Daniel “Buttermilk” Jackson’s blood-curling screams, to Bryce Gills’ smokin’ hot guitar and Brandon Roush’s outstanding harp playing, the Tunesmiths ripping cover of “Mannish Boy” is a fantastic listen. With authenticity, Tyrone Cotton dishes out a splendid rendition of “Can’t Be Satisfied” on slide. Laurie Jane and the 45’s create a swampy Credence Clearwater Revival atmosphere to “You Need Love”. Laurie Jane Jessup’s vocals are sweet and sexy, while Cort Duggins tears it up on slide guitar. This is a favorite indeed. Latin-Folk band Appalatin beautifully takes “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” to a whole new level. Lead guitarist and vocalist Yani Vozos gives a captivating performance to say the least, and I definitely want to explore this band’s music further. The Ass Haulers bring a briefcase full of lightning to their barn-burning cover of “Trouble No More”. Steven Clark enters full beast mode vocally as Screamin’ John Hawkins masterfully shreds guitar and Rick Cain kills on harmonica. This is the Blues baby, and I love it!