Veteran harp man Pryor (who claims to be the first to amplify his harmonica) was still capable of some potent blues when he released this album in early 1999. Kicking off with a solo version of Faye Adams' "Shake a Hand" (its lyrics reworked heavily into the title track) that owes a huge debt to idol Sonny Boy Williamson II, Pryor settles into a comfortable groove with a tight little trio behind him consisting of Bob Stroger on bass, Billy Flynn on guitar and Jimmy Tilman on drums. His version of Hank Ballard's "Annie Had a Baby" is so radically different that it almost qualifies as an original, while his covers of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama" and Sleepy John Estes' "Someday Baby" stay closer to the originals. The rest of the set features Snooky's great originals, with the minor-keyed "Headed South," "In This Mess," "Jump for Joy" and a nice remake of his "Telephone Blues" being particular standouts. Simple, no-frills production makes this a modern-day blues album that delivers the wallop of the old singles.
By 1999, Crash Test Dummies probably figured they would never be hip in America, so they made partial concessions on Give Yourself a Hand. If you have trouble getting past Brad Roberts' awkward singing and writing, then maybe innovative breakbeats and arrangements might obscure them. The results are exactly what you'd expect – an instrumentally progressive pop album, completely neutralized by embarrassing lyrics and vocals. Give Yourself a Hand redefines the Dummies sound with lightly applied techno strokes, not far off from Everything But the Girl's classic Walking Wounded.
Generally acclaimed as fusion's greatest drummer, Billy Cobham's explosive technique powered some of the genre's most important early recordings – including groundbreaking efforts by Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra – before he became an accomplished bandleader in his own right. At his best, Cobham harnessed his amazing dexterity into thundering, high-octane hybrids of jazz complexity and rock & roll aggression. He was capable of subtler, funkier grooves on the one hand, and awe-inspiring solo improvisations on the other; in fact, his technical virtuosity was such that his flash could sometimes overwhelm his music.
UK twofer combines 'Sings American Folk Songs' & 'Hand-Clapping Songs' (both originally released in 1963), the country legends fifth & sixth albums for the Hickory label. Features 24 beautifully remastered tracks from original first-generation Hickory Records master tapes, making their CD debut. Includes 12-page booklet with extensive liner notes, photos & memorabilia. Two of Roy Acuff's 1963 albums, Sings American Folk Songs and Hand-Clapping Gospel Songs, are combined onto one disc on this CD reissue. Sings American Folk Songs was the third album that he recorded in the early '60s for his own Hickory label, and might be less essential than some of his other work from the era, simply because most of the songs are folk tunes rather than his own compositions. That doesn't automatically mean they're not of interest. But Acuff is simply a more distinctive talent when working with the country compositions of his own and others than he is as an interpreter of folk songs.