BIG SHANTY - Collection (2011)
“Got my own way/and it works just fine.” So growls Big Shanty amid the greasy funk blues of “Stop Pushing Me,” second cut on the first of this two-disc, 19-song overview of his impressive musical endeavors. Well, it has indeed worked out just fine for the big man since he stormed into the blues world with 2004’s World of Trouble and has continued marching on like Sherman to the sea, adopting a strictly scorched earth policy as he goes. A triple-threat writer/singer/slide guitarist, Shanty attacks most of his songs with impunity and a foul disposition, because this is serious business indeed. You can tell that much from the howling slide sorties and in-your-face vocal report to a wayward woman marking his punishing, Hendrix-like “They Say It’s Raining” (disc one). He may turn down the heat a bit on something such as “Got a Hold On Me,” in which both his dark, ominous voice and spacey guitar evoke the specter of the Doors at their finest; and on “World of Trouble,” he goes deep into the heart of a broken-hearted melody of a blues ballad, his voice full of the pain of betrayal, his stinging guitar adding a second, aggrieved voice to his own. He prefers, however, to get off simmer quickly and unequivocally. Disc one shows what he has done with mostly a basic band behind him—the occasional horn section or synth will show up—and thus showcases the variety of blues and blues-inflected styles over which he exercises complete dominion. A special treat in this set is the fevered, pumping, ‘50s-style musical orgy he engages in on a saucy, braggadocio-filled come-on, “Right Combination,” a crispy live track that gets some added oomph courtesy Phil Davis’s rollicking keyboards, Rick Phillips’s rumbling bass sax and a tart, electrifying Eddie Jett guitar solo complementing Big Shanty’s feisty vocal.
DISC 1: 01. Whisky Woman 02. Stop Pushing Me 03. They Say It's Raining 04. Got A Hold On Me 05. Queen of Hearts Has Disappeared 06. Right Combination 07. World of Trouble 08. Smoke and Mirrors 09. 100 Pound Hammer
DISC 2: 01. Killing Fields 02. Uncle Sam Go To Rehab 03. New Messiah 04. Born Up in Trouble 05. Living On the Edge of Time 06. Gone Downtown 07. Kiss the Eight Ball 08. Love Train 09. Walking Shoes 10. Ride With the Wind
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