Blues Underground Network

Back To Homepage

Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues"
"Grammy nominated Chicago Blues: A Living History is being hailed by critics,musicians and music historians worldwide as the greatest tribute of our time to the Chicago Blues," is what has been said of the previous Chicago Blues: A Living History release, and there is no doubt that the follow up to that amazing compilation, Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues" will follow with similar accolades.
The following describes what route this second release will take us, "As with Chicago Blues: A Living History, our first release, The (R)evolution Continues covers the early piano-driven Chicago Blues of the 1940s through to the classic electric-guitar-and-harmonica-driven period of the 1950s. The (R)evolution Continues further emphasizes the shifting away from the classic Chicago Blues sound which has been described as the ''electric-country Blues'' towards the music that would become Rock & Roll ."
As with the first release, we once again are treated with having Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, and Lurrie Bell as our Chicago Blues tour guides, with the addition of Carlos Johnson. These Legendary artists are considered to be the "bridge between the originators of the genre and the Chicago Blues of today--each of them has a foot in a generation of Chicago Blues history right up to present day; through them the Chicago Blues remains a living tradition." In addition, Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", also has special guests Buddy Guy, James Cotton, and Magic Slim, as well as featured guests Ronnie Baker Brooks, Zora Young, and Mike Avery, performing.
The music on Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", starts off from the early 1940's and follows a fairly consistent time line up to 1998. The songs chosen for this release may not all be the most popular, but that is not the idea behind this release, it is to offer us songs that are more defining, historically speaking, than monetarily speaking.
The performances on Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", are as one can only expect from consumate professionals, and that is second to none and as for highlights on this release, well they start at track one and continue to the closing notes of the last track, which is considered a Bonus track, The Blues Had A Baby (And They Named It Rock N' Roll) (McKinley Morganfield, 1977).
The packaging of Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", truly exemplifies the history contained within, with the wonderful montage of photo's inside and out, in addition to a amazingly well done booklet. One thing I would like to suggest, is that before you even start to put the first CD into the player, you take the time to first open the very informative booklet and read the liner notes by Larry Skoller, the producer of this release. It will give you the required amount of education needed to really appreciate Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", that much more. I then encourage you to, for now, skip the track listings with descriptions, and go directly to the time line part of this booklet. It starts at 1939 and continues to 1999, once again giving us another amazing look at Chicago Blues History. After you have done that, go back to the track listings, put the first CD in the Player, press Play, and get yourself comfortable for awhile, as Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues", takes you back and brings you forward.
One could safely say that there are not a lot releases of like Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues" that come out each year and as such they should be considered an essential part of any blues lovers collection. Chicago Blues: A Living History "The (R)evolution Continues" oozes blues history and it is a release that I enthusiastically recommend. This album has it all, wonderfully produced, packaged, and sounding.
For those interested there are a couple of Chicago Blues: A Living History videos up on YouTube.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)

Additional Info
Disc 1
1. Heís a Jelly Roll Baker 3:15 (Lonnie Johnson, 1942)
2. Iíll Be Up Again Someday 3:12 (Hudson Whittaker, 1946)
3. She Donít Love Me That Way 2:49 (John Lee Williamson, 1941)
4. Canary Bird 3:10 (McKinley Morganfield, 1949)
5. Chicago Bound 2:50 (Jimmy Rogers, 1954)
6. Stockyard Blues 3:59 (Floyd Jones, 1947)
7. Diamonds At Your Feet 2:40 (McKinley Morganfield, 1956)
8. Rocket 88 3:36 (Jackie Brenston, 1951)
9. Reeliní and Rockiní 3:42 (Chuck Berry, 1958)
10. Medley: Mellow Down Easy/Bo Diddley 5:36 (Ellas McDaniel/Willie Dixon, 1954/1955)
Disc 2
11. First Time I Met The Blues 5:56 (E. Montgomery, 1960)
12. Keep A-Driviní 4:02 (Chuck Willis, 1958)
13. Easy Baby 3:58 (Samuel Maghett, 1958)
14. Howliní For My Baby 2:47 (Chester Burnett, 1962)
15. My Daily Wish 3:02 (Robert Lockwood, Jr., 1960)
16. Yonder Wall 4:30 (Elmore James, 1965)
17. Be Careful How You Vote 3:16 (Albert Luandrew, 1980)
18. Somebody Loan Me A Dime 3:50 (Fenton Robinson, 1967)
19. Got to Leave Chi-Town 3:30 (Lurrie Bell, 1984)
20. Donít Take Advantage of Me 4:25 (Lonnie Brooks, 1983)
21. Ainít Enough Cominí In 4:09 (Otis Rush, 1994)
22. Make These Blues Survive 7:11 (Ronnie Baker Brooks, 1998)
Bonus Track - The Blues Had A Baby (And They Named It Rock n' Roll) (McKinley Morganfield, 1977)
Listen To Samples Here...