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Luther Allison- Live in Chicago
Original Release Date: Aug 24, 1999

1. Intro (Marker) - :23
2. Soul Fixin' Man (Allison/Solberg) - 4:03
3. Cherry Red Wine (Allison) - 8:36
4. Move from the Hood (Allison/Solberg) - 4:48
5. Bad Love (Allison/Solberg) - 10:16
6. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (Allison/Solberg) - 6:00
7. Big City (Allison/Solberg) - 9:07
8. Give Me Back My Wig (Taylor) - 5:22
9. It Hurts Me Too (Whittaker) - 7:40
10. Medley: Gambler's Blues/Sweet Little Angel (King & Pate/Pate) - 10:25
11. Party Time (Allison) - 5:20
12. All the King's Horses (Allison/Solberg) - 12:19
13. What Have I Done Wrong? (Magic Sam [1]) - 7:10
14. Walking Papers (Allison/Solberg) - 6:48
15. Think With Your Heart (Allison/Solberg) - 6:27
16. What's Going on in My Home? (Allison/Solberg) - 7:13
17. Will It Ever Change? (Allison/Solberg) - 5:48
18. You're Gonna Make Me Cry (Malone) - 8:26
19. Everything's Gonna Be All Right - 5:30

Review (by Tommy Chung)
I have never been a great fan of Luther Allison; he just seems to lack a distinct style and he smothers and never seems to catch fire. Luther's singer and playing are respectable but he seems he never quite gets there. Luther Allison had been around the American Blues scene since the late 50's. One could say he never quite made it in America and he moved to live in Paris in the late 1980's. He released quite a few albums and the latest ones were on Alligator, Soul Fixin' Man (AL 4820), Blues Streak (AL 4834) and Reckless (AL4849). I have one of his bootleg recordings when he played Sapporo City in Japan. I didn't like it very much.

One afternoon, I was looking at the Blues section in HMV and for some reason I picked up a copy of "Live In Chicago" and decided to buy it. I didn't know why, but I had this instinct that this might be a good thing to buy despite the fact that I am not a big fan of Allison's. It turned out to be right. Damn right.

"Live In Chicago" is a two-CD set and contained live recordings from two shows. But the liner notes are so confusing that, for a not particularly well-educated person like myself, I just couldn't make out what recordings are from which show. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because all that mattered were on the first CD. I think the bulk of the recordings on the first CD were from the Chicago Blues Festival in 1995. I have seldom heard Blues with such intensity. On the first CD, Luther Allison was playing with such emotion and intensity as if his life depended on it. The emotion, the vocal and guitar phrasing were stunning. "Soul Fixin' Man", "Cherry Red Wine", the opening two tracks set the scene for the rest of the songs. I remember I listened to the first track "Soul Fixin' Man" three times before I moved on to the next track. It really shows you don't have to be a big name, it all comes down to your feeling for the Blues. This is one live recording that is absolutely indispensable in anyone's CD collection, whether you are into Rock or Blues or Blues Rock. The rhythm section was steaming hot. I said it before and I say it again, in Blues, the number one thing is the rhythm section. A mediocre singer and guitar player can get away with a good backing band, but even the greatest player cannot do well with a backing band that doesn't smoke. Sadly, Luther passed away in 1997.

Extended Listening

-B.B. King- Live at Ole Miss
-Otis Rush- Tops

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