Title: One Night in America
Catalogue Number: Telarc CD-83547
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2002
Charlie turns in the performance of his career to give us a truly stunning album. His trademark effortless and laidback style of 'harp' playing is very much in evidence, as is his somewhat gruff-ish yet emotive vocals that are given new depth of feeling by Randy Labbe's excellent production. All backed by an superb ensemble cast of musicians, with GE Smith (guitar) and T-Bone Wolk (bass) forming the ever present core.
There are several highlights to choose from. Johnny Cash's "Big River" with its thumping bass beat behind Charlie's vocals and harmonica just pulls you into a whirlpool of sound as strong as anything the Mississippi itself could produce; the more country blues sound of Ivory Joe Hunter's "Cold Grey Light of Dawn", and the lyrically rich and compelling story telling of "One Time One Night".
Charlie himself contributes a few great songs of which the reworking of "Blues Over Took Me" (previously on "Ace of Harps") and the darker, haunting deep blues sound of "Ain't It Time" stand out. To our ears Charlie Musselwhite has never sounded as good as he does here. So, if you're building a collection of must have blues records, then this is one you must have!
June 22, 2007
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