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Monday, October 10, 2011

Clarence "Gatemouth"Brown - The Man (USA 1994)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review

The other Gitanes release I picked up last week from Gatemouth-Brown, this one also has a very large line up of musicians and again is very well recorded. The Man was entering his 70s when he recorded this set and his playing and singing sounds like someone still in his 40s. The album starts off well enough with some excellent blues number,s both covers(Louis Jordan's "Early in the Morning") and self penned ( the cool slow blues of "You Can Disagree"). Unfortunately for me, Gatemouth doesn't feel restrained by just one style of music and although I usually really enjoy albums that incorporate diffrent styles, I am not really a fan of Cajun or Zydeco, of which there are several examples here. "I Wonder" is a pretty straight Country song and not one that I enjoy too much, I don't like Gatemouth's country singing either, although Tommy Moran's Steel guitar solo is quite nice." Unchained Melody" takes half the song to get into gear before becoming an uninspiring instrumental. The self penned "There You Are" gets us back to some seriously excellent slow tempo R&B with the Hammond B-3 giving it a serious Jimmy Smith feel. Another blues is enjoyed before we go all country again and it is quite amazing the difference between Gatemouth's country singing and blues singing. I like some country music and I respect the talent of The Man to have a go at this stuff, but it just fails to move me.After the Zydeco version of  "Jambalaya" another great self penned slow blues, just proves again what an awesome blues composer and player Gatemouth really is and the album finishes with a much more enjoyable old fashioned, fiddle lead country hoe-down. Some better choice in country covers and doing away with the Zydeco songs would have made this an excellent album, all the Bluesy numbers are excellent, but the rest don't do it for me.Rating 3/5 

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