A continuation of the sound established on his Alligator debut, I Smell Smoke is even more impressive than its much-heralded predecessor. While vocally Michael Burks still invites comparison to Albert King, especially on gospel-fried ballads like "Lie to Me" (the Flying V guitar he sports on this album's cover shot further reinforces the similarities between the two artists), his guitar work has become more electrified and confident. With a tone sounding at times like Eric Clapton's psychedelic work in Cream and a rugged four-piece band supporting him, this is a tough, uncompromising contemporary blues/blues-rock/R&B album that doesn't pull punches. Co-produced and mixed by veteran Jim Gaines, the sound is professional but not polished, with Burks' strong persona commanding attention. However, the songs – which are far above average – are as important as the performance. Mostly written by outside sources, Burks avoids the crowd-pleasing covers that populate his live shows, instead digging into obscure tunes such as Latimore's "Let the Doorknob Hit You," delivering them with his gutsy punch.
Elvin Richard Bishop is an American blues and rock musician as singer and guitarist, a bandleader, and a recording artist, having released over two dozen studio and live albums to date, including a #3 charting U.S. hit single. He was an original member of the historic 1960s group, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and as such, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Cow Fingers and Mosquito Pie is a magically weird 19-song collection of the bizarre shouter's mid-'50s OKeh/Epic output, when he was at the height of his strange and terrifying vocal powers. In addition to the prerequisite "I Put a Spell on You," and the surreal rockers "Yellow Coat," "Hong Kong," "Alligator Wine," and "Little Demon"; there's the amusing "There's Something Wrong With You"; a previously unissued "You Ain't Foolin' Me"; and a deranged takeoff on the cowboy ditty "Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle." And what Screamin' Jay Hawkins does to the formerly stately "I Love Paris," and "Orange Colored Sky" is truly indescribable!.
Master guitarist Roy Buchanan elevates his already astronomical musical standard on his third Alligator release, HOT WIRES. With his searing tone, fluid runs, screeching harmonics, dynamics experiments, and grab bag of scratches, wails, and noodles, Buchanan's Fender often sounds less like a guitar than a channel for highly articulate alien intelligence…