Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BILLY BOY ARNOLD

THE BLUES SOUL OF BILLY BOY ARNOLD

2014-10-13

Despite the fact the calendar says that he is 79 and a resume that includes recording "I'm A Man" with Bo Diddley and writing his own oft-covered classics such as "I Wish You Would", Billy Boy Arnold prowls this disc like a young lion. With 14 of his favorites from over the years including Ted Taylor's "You Give Me Nothing To Go On", Chuck Berry's "Nadine", Eddie Miller's "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" and B.B. King's "Worried Dream" to go along with his originals, "What's On the Menu Mama", "Dance for Me Baby" and "Keep On Rubbing", Arnold is in fine voice throughout, sounding like someone considerably younger. Whether he's singing solo or with background vocalists, as on the Joe Tex classic "A Mother's Prayer", Arnold brings energy and conviction to every word. His harmonica work maintains the same high standard as he demonstrates throughout whether it be on the slinky "Dance For Me Baby" where he adds a tough counterpoint to Robillard's guitar or on the salacious "Keep On Rubbing" where he reveals all his senses are intact! Backed by Duke Robillard on guitar and the Roomful of Blues horns, Arnold has all the back-up fire power he needs to lay down straight electric blues, "What's On the Menu Mama", soulful blues ballads, "Worried Dream", early rock, "Nadine", jump blues, "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" and soul- inflected blues on Mack Rice's, "Coal Man". Based on the strength of this release, retirement isn't in the cards anytime soon for Billy Boy Arnold. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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