Monday 24 January 2022

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

Newsletter SIGNUP

spiral earth
Monday 24 January 2022

Share This:

The Parlor – Alabama Slim

Mar 8, 2021

Recorded in a four hour session in New Orleans in 2019, that brevity is both the strength and weakness of this release. There’s a freshness about the recordings, especially Alabama Slim’s world-worn and gritty vocals but at times the players embrace what might be most kindly called a jazzy sloppiness – that’s particularly true on the opening track “Hot Foot” where both guitarists and the rhythm section appear to be at odds.

Things get a bit tighter on “Freddie’s Voodoo Boogie” a chunking talking blues featuring Little Freddie King on lead vocals, which benefits from the close mic-ed gruff voice. “Rob Me Without A Gun” is dominated by intimate slabs of swirling organ and late night guitar. “All Night Long” has a dynamic mix, when it might have been better to narrow the instrumental field and bring the vocals more to the fore for the sake of the song – instead, the listener’s ears are drawn to issues of timing which might be fine in a live situation, but which jar somewhat in recorded form.

“Forty-Jive” is on the jazzier side of blues, whereas “Midnight Rider” stumbles and starts along from a tight start to a hesitant rhythm. “Rock Me Baby” and “Someday Baby” take well-worn riffs and its only Slim’s voice which lifts them into interesting territory.

Overall, this is an album from another time – and recording it in modern ways perhaps hasn’t served it the best, as too much is exposed and laid bare – there are issues of quality control too in performance, timing and tuning. If you like your blues warts and all, though, then this is for you.

Nick Barber.

corneliuschapelrecords.com

Spiral Earth rating

Related Posts

Both In A Tune – Knight & Spiers.

Both In A Tune – Knight & Spiers.

That’s as in Peter and John, as in Steeleye Span and Bellowhead respectively. They’ve struck up quite a working relationship since 2016 when some enterprising...

Belinda O’Hooley – Inversions Tour

Belinda O’Hooley – Inversions Tour

Belinda O’Hooley began playing the piano at the age of seven. She is an exceptionally gifted pianist, singer, songwriter and composer and has become renowned...