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Tommy Chung - Blues Talk
Original Release Date: May 2002

Tommy Chung/Vocals & Guitar, Kazuo Takeda/Guitar, Yoko Hashimoto/Harmonica, Mark Foster/Piano, Larry Rott/Bass, Ivan Sherill/Bass, Stephen Marshall/Drums, Haru Yoshida/Drums

1. All Your Love (Rush)
2. Mean Mistreator (Carr)
3. Look Over Yonder's Wall (James)
4. How Long Blues (Carr)
5. For You My Love (Gayton)
6. Goodbye Down The Road (Chung)
7. Trouble In Mind (Jones)
8. Walking By Myself (Lane)
9. Love, Life & Money (Dixon/Glover)
10. Walking Thru the Park (Morganfield)
11. Goodbye Down The Road (acoustic) (Chung)


Review

Evidently the most anticipated blues CD of the year, Tommy Chung finally released his second album, six years after his first (one and a half World Cup ago). Gladly, this is a vast improvement over his first album, both regarding his voice and guitar playing. Overall, there is a lot more blues in the songs while the playing is not as hurried and muddled as before. One can really tell Tommy has gained more experience and the blues in a mere six-year period.

In his last album, Tommy desperately tried to sound black. In Blues Talk, Tommy relaxes and sounds his most natural, and lets his blues feeling flow. This kind of singing is Tommy's best, reminiscent of Peter Green and Eric Clapton in their early years - trying to sing the blues without sounding black. Incidentally, Tommy pays tribute to the early British blues - admittedly his first blues influence - singing "All Your Love" as the first tune. Moreover, Chung pays tribute to artists that influenced him the most - Leroy Carr, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Rogers, etc. Reminds me of appropriate songs voices in Eric Clapton's From The Cradle.

The real treasure of Blues Talk is of course Chung's original composition "Goodbye Down The Road," especially the acoustic version. Though Chung claims that he won't write as many songs before, the quality of that song is just as good as his previous "Play My Blues" with the same feelings of "love, joy, misfortunes, pain and suffering."

Musician-wise, Tommy never sounded better. He is at his top form. Jedi-Master Kazuo Takeda, also the producer of the album, lends solid support on the guitar. Sonny Girl Hashimoto is almost impeccable on the harp, giving much force and power to the songs, which is a contrast from her hurried and muted performance from Play My Blues. Bassists Ivan Sherill and Larry Rott (local USA blues artists) are solid on their job. Stephen Marshall is very decent and consistent on the drums. The entire rhythm section sets the right pace and tone for the CD.

The unhurried and constrained underpinnings stand side by side with William Tang's natural Chicago-Blues tribute Out of the Blue. Blues Talk is undoubtedly one of the most important albums in Hong Kong blues history

Extended Listening

-Tommy Chung- Play My Blues
-Danny Summer- A Change Is Gonna Come

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