2021 – Delmark Records
by Phillip Smith; Nov. 13, 2021
Dave Specter has appeared on over fifty albums and DVDs either as guitarist, bandleader, or producer, and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2018. For an artist to have a three-decade-long career on one label is indeed a rarity. Specter’s latest release celebrates that exact accomplishment with Six String Soul: 30 Years on Delmark. This fabulous two-disc set covers his amazing career with 28 magnificent tracks representing fourteen albums. The list of legendary blues artists appearing on this compilation album is a dazzling one to say the least. It includes Barkin’ Bill Smith, Ronnie Earl, Jesse Fortune, Tad Robinson, Sharon Lewis, Barrelhouse Chuck, Floyd McDaniel, Lurrie Bell, Jimmy Johnson, Otis Clay, Brother John Kattke, and Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna).
“Wind Chill”, from the album Bluebird Blues he recorded with Barkin’ Bill Smith, and Ronnie Earl is a delectable jazz instrumental complete with a smooth walking bassline and coupled with organ, and horns. Specter’s guitar performance is superb. From the same album, a sweet cover of T-Bone Walker’s “Railroad Station Blues” immediately follows. Barkin’ Bill takes on the lead vocals as Specter and Earl join on guitar. From the album Kiss of Sweet Blues by Lurrie Bell with Dave Specter and the Bluebirds, “You’re Gonna Be Sorry” is an exquisite blast of Chicago Blues, with Bell on vocals and guitar. A track that absolutely cooks is “Can’t Stay Here No More” off Wild Cards with Tad Robinson’s soulful vocals riding a wave of Stax-inspired rhythm, complete with horns. I absolutely love this one. W.C. Handy’s “St Louis Blues” from Floyd McDaniel’s West Side Baby album totally captivated me. This is one of the first songs I learned how to play on organ back in the Seventies, and it will always be a special song to me. Specter teams up with Otis Clay for a ripping good time in “Chicago Style”. This homage to the Windy City and the blues artists who make their mark there is a swinging one. Jorma Kaukonen and Brother John Kattke collaborate wonderfully with Specter on the album Blues From the Inside Out. “The Blues Ain’t Nothin’”, a song from that album and co-written by Kaukonen and Specter is a wonderful jam loaded with smoldering riffs, and hot licks.
Six String Soul closes with Specter’s brand new single “The Ballad of George Floyd” which he recorded with Billy Branch. Showcased now at the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa as part of the Songs of Conscience, Sounds of Freedom exhibit, the song’s hand-written lyrics are on display among Woody Guthrie’s tenor banjo, Steven Van Zandt’s guitar used for the “Sun City” recording, and Pete Seeger’s five-string banjo.
Six String Songs : 30 Years on Delmark is definitely an album blues fans will want to give a listen to. This thirty year journey of Dave Specters musical career is highly recommended.
Click on the link below to purchase this terrific album from the PhillyCheeze Amazon Store. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.