Various Artists – Blues from the Burgh 5 | Album Review

Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania – Blues from the Burgh 5

CD: 13 Songs, 59:00 Minutes includes various artists

Styles: Blues Compilations

Blues from the Burgh 5 is the fifth compilation of Pensylvania area artists from the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania. Albums like this fill a special niche for showcasing artists old and new. It’s also perfect to play at a party, or at a live venue between live bands, when one wants to offer a smorgasbord of different songs from different groups. It is a mixed bag, so take your pick. Some people like “coconut” blues songs. There’s a wide assortment here, from the traditional-sounding opener “Accidental Theft” to the upbeat “Lady of the Blues” to the gospel homily “We Walk On.” Sample as many of these as you can, because before you know it, your mind and your ears will be gorged with the blues.

In order, the artists presented are Barbara Blue, Jill West & Blues Attack, Max Schang, Stevee Wellons Band, The Jeff Fetterman Band, The Delta Struts, The Aces, Miss Freddye, Jimmy Adler, Hoodoo Drugstore, Lori Russo and the Uppercuts, The Nied’s Hotel Band, and the Aris Paul Band. Several of the songs were written by Mike Sweeney, and number twelve, “Down To Memphis,” features several co-writers. Together, they form a solid if not always stellar whole. For more information on the members of each individual band, check the album’s liner notes.

The following number should have been the opener instead of the closer, folks. It’s a winner.

Track 13: “You Can’t Fix Lonely” – The Aris Paul Band cuts loose and takes no prisoners with rocking number thirteen. From the chugga-chugga guitar intro to Johnny Rooster’s howling harmonica to Aris’ pointed vocals, “You Can’t Fix Lonely” takes the cake. When the band combines postmodern angst with classic sentiment and blues-rock rhythm, dynamite results.

If Blues from the Burgh 5 were a box of chocolates, it would be a Russell Stover or Whitman’s Sampler with a few pieces of Godiva mixed in. Its blues are sweet, regardless of flavor!

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