L.A. Blues Alliance: Keb' Mo' (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Sonny Landreth (vocals, guitar); Stanley Behrens (vocals, harmonica, tenor saxophone); W.G. Snuffy Walden (guitar); David Morgan (piano, electric piano, background vocals); Mike Finnigan (piano, organ, background vocals); Bob Glaub (bass guitar); John "J.R." Robinson (drums, percussion); Amy Keys (vocals, background vocals)
Mike Post is best known for composing the theme songs for such hit TV shows as Law & Order, Rockford Files and Hill Street Blues. So, it may come as a surprise that another side of his musical passion is the blues!
The initial disc by Post assembled L.A. Blues Alliance to record What a Life live in the studio; they did it with only a few takes, if that, allotted for each track and a democratic vibe in which each musician brought in both originals and blues favorites to the sessions. Along with production duties, Post took it upon himself to assemble a crack band that consists of guitarists W.G. Snuffy Walden, Keb' Mo' and Sonny Landreth, vocalist Amy Keys, bassist Bob Glaub, keyboardists David Morgan and Mike Finnigan, drummer John Robinson, and Stan Behrens switching between harmonica and tenor sax.
Of the 15 tracks, eight are cover versions. Far too often on hastily assembled recordings of this nature, "cover versions" can be translated to mean generic or geriatric; but, upon first hearing Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," reinterpreted as a gutbucket blues, it becomes clear that this is definitely not a paint-by-numbers affair. The musicians don't get hung up on one specific style of blues; they cover a lot of ground, paying homage along the way to Howlin' Wolf "Who's Been Talkin,'" Son House "Death Letter," Big Joe Turner "T.V. Mama," Skip James "Illinois Blues," Clyde McPhatter "Money Honey," Smokey Robinson "Shop Around," and Stevie Wonder "Maybe Your Baby."
L.A. Blues Alliance is a rewarding musical endeavor that has the potential to go beyond a one shot dream project. ~ Al Campbell
Recording information: Studio 9, Burbank, CA.
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