Blues on the road

Issue 

Blues on the road

In My Time
Charlie Musselwhite
Alligator
Reviewed by Jill Hickson

Here is an album of acoustic blues, '50s swing-style blues and contemporary blues played with remarkable clarity and rhythm.

In this autobiographical album, the music is a taste of Charlie Musselwhite's life, on the road and playing in clubs, meeting and playing with a whole range of other jazz and blues musicians and singers.

It starts from Memphis, where Charlie as a teenager first discovered how to play the blues on the guitar and set out touring and playing around the country in swing-style bands, learning and experiencing life on the road.

Then comes Chicago in the mid-'60s, where the blues scene was host to some of the best of American blues musicians, who played and sang in the taverns of the south and west sides, Muddy Waters and Otis Rush among them. Here Charlie took up the harmonica, becoming one of the blues' best-known players.

The jazz influences in "Revelation" and "Movin' and Groovin'" as well as the urban Latin-influenced "When It Rains It Pours" are proof of the rich musical talent which emerged from the underclass of the US's poor black and Latino population.

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