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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

Willie Kent – Comin’ Alive!Willie Kent – Comin’ Alive!
{2001 | Blue Chicago}

Kent, the Chicago blues bassist, was a sideman to Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Louisiana Red, Eddie “The Chief” Clearwater, and Junior Wells, to name a few. Willie is finally getting the recognition this bass legend deserves; W.C. Handy Awards: Best Blues Instrumentalist, Bass 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Additional awards: Library of Congress Award for Best Folk/Blues album, Living Blues Magazine Award for Best Bassist for seven years and Chicago Music Society Album of the Year. Wow, that’s a lot of accomplishments to a well deserving bluesman.

Willie Kent, vocals and bass; Haguy F. King, guitar; Jacob Dawson, guitar; Dave Jefferson, drums; Allen Batts, piano and organ; Erskine Johnson, piano; Willie Henderson, Kenny Anderson, Larry B.J. Weathersby & Bergess Gardner, horns; and The Gospel Supremez, background vocals on track 12.

Comin’ Alive takes listeners down to the Delta to Chicago’s West Side. There are songs that’ll make you want to dance and others a bit gospel. All but songs #1 & 10 are original tunes, written by Willie.

1. Lonely Streets – Chicago blues with soul.

2. Born in the Delta – “I was born in the Delta, a hundred miles south of the Tennessee line”. Slow and rich in mojo.

3. Check It Out – absolutely fantastic guitar playin’.

4. Look Like It's Gonna Rain
– fast paced bass groove and Albert King like guitar snippets.

5. Lonesome Whistle Blow – bluesy shuffle, rich vocals and backing horns.

6. Someone Like You – just try and not bob your head and/or tap your feet. Now this is the blues.

7. Sittin' Here Thinkin' – another masterful song.

8. Bad Luck – (same as above)

9. Don't Tell Me Your Trouble
– piano blues and electric blues together… and they lived happily ever after.

10. I Can't Stop Loving You – slow, far from mellow blues with Willies vocals exuberating soul.

11. Something New – a fast tempo’d shuffle.

12. Someone You Should Know – gospelesque-funk-soul-R&B-blues.

At the time of writing this review Willie is undergoing Chemotherapy. As a result he is limited how much he can play – no play, no pay. Bills are piling high. To learn more about Willie’s progress and how you can help, click here. Willie or thoughts and prayers are with you. Get better and make lots more music!

At times Willies vocals reminded me of John Lee Hooker. This CD is FANTASTIC and has been added to my favorite list.

Ciao' for now, peace.
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net ~

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