Luther Allison: Songs From the Road (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  1 min read

Luther Allison: Low Down and Dirty
Luther Allison: Songs From the Road (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

It's a peculiar thing, but the music which gave the world rock'n'roll and rock as we know it -- the blues, in case you missed the connection -- seems utterly marginalised in the media.

Even more odd is that when the best blues musicians -- and even some fairly indifferent ones, or legends passing into a belated retirement -- play a concert that people turn out in their hundreds in the absence of any publicity and hype. The likes of Buddy Guy can pull a crowd just on the strength of what they have done . . . and because people know what they will do on the night.

The great Luther Allison -- who died in '97 -- was a Chicago blues legend who was tutored by Freddie King, spend most of his time in Europe in the Seventies and Eighties where he was appreciated, returned to the States at the urging of Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records in the Nineties, and went about a relentless touring schedule (pulling those huge crowds in many places) backed by his hard working European band.

Allison attacked his guitar as if he had a flaming whip and hands of barbed wire, and he sang like he meant every angry or sad word.

When he died aged 57 -- just when he was hitting yet another peak -- his loss was deeply felt by those who had known the hot breath of his intense performances.

This CD/DVD recorded live in Canada in July '97, fewer than six weeks before his death -- and originally relased in 2010 -- is evidence of why he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame the following year.

He shoots everything home hard like his guitar is a nail gun, belts out thrilling solos, the crowd is on its feet with hearts in mouths and . . . six weeks later?

We should all be so lucky to have the closing overs of our life this exciting and so public.

While the boring intro notes are rolling on the clip below, get a drink and strap yourself in.

Genius . . . and bottled electrostatic blues.

Like the sound of this? Then check out Blues in Elsewhere, there's a lotta legends and great names in there.

Share It

Your Comments

Duncan - Feb 27, 2014

I'll check this out. His Live in Chicago double cd also from 97 is terrific

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

BIG DADDY WILSON INTERVIEWED (2012): Blues sprechen here

BIG DADDY WILSON INTERVIEWED (2012): Blues sprechen here

Wilson Blount – aka Big Daddy Wilson – is certainly a bluesman with a point of difference. He may have been a Southern black kid and born in North Carolina, but he's honest enough to... > Read more

Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues (Universal)

Gregg Allman: Low Country Blues (Universal)

Gregg Allman is as well known for his marriage to Cher in the 70s and battles with drug'n'alcohol as he is for co-founding the seminal Southern blues-rock Allman Brothers Band with his long-gone... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JOHN PSATHAS, 21st CENTURY MAN: The helix of creativity

JOHN PSATHAS, 21st CENTURY MAN: The helix of creativity

It seems entirely fitting that the final piece on New Zealand composer John Psathas' new album Helix should be dedicated to Jack Body, a composer like Psathas who has always looked outward as much... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more