Friday, March 16, 2012

Pre-Lease CD Review: Lurrie Bell's "THE DEVIL AIN'T GOT NO MUSIC"

I had the pleasure of listening to a new blues CD from Lurrie Bell, "The Devil Ain't Got No Music". This is Lurrie's second CD for Aria B.G. Records and will be released on April 17, 2012.  Lurrie has put together a wonderful blend of music combining gospel with traditional blues. If you ever wondered how the traditional American blues got started, this CD tells the story by way of the great sounds produced by Lurrie Bell's blending of gospel and blues.  The more I listened to the songs on this CD, the more it produced a feeling of peace and tranquility for me. I could picture myself sitting on a front porch or perhaps on the ground with a group of friends and family members on a summer day listening to the sounds of the blues.
Track# 1 "Swing Low" sets the stage for the balance of the songs on this CD. While some people may think the blues can't be uplifting, this CD proves the point. Most blues musicians feel that sometimes the best way to lose the blues is to sing the blues! The title track "The Devil Ain't Got No Music" was written by Bell's longtime friend and producer Matthew Skoller and tells an interesting story. Skoller was inspired by a Mavis Staples interview with Chicago journalist David Whiteis. Whiteis asked Staples if the blues really was the devil's music. Mavis immediately retorted "Come on, the devil ain't got no music".
Lurrie Bell's voice and his acoustic guitar shine on track #10, "I'll Get To Heaven On My Own", and combine perfectly with  outstanding voice/hand claps and testifying from Joe Louis Walker.

There are some great musicians featured on this recording in addition to Lurrie Bell's fine voice and acoustic guitar performance.  Lurrie used Billy Branch on harmonica , Chicago percussionist Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith and noted New York blues and gospel musician Bill Sims, Jr.  Joe Louis Walker also made a big contribution to this great traditional blues CD playing slide guitar on several songs  adding background singing and hand claps on others.

Lurrie Bell sings and plays the blues like the feelings and sounds are burned into his soul.  This CD blends Lurrie Bell's marvelous singing and guitar playing with the efforts of a talented group of professionals that produce a powerful blues and gospel message.

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