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The Blues White Album 
Various Artists

Review by Todd Warnke
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The Blues White Album - Various Artists

CD Stock Number: Telarc CD-83553


  A thing easily forgotten is how much the Beatles were influenced by the United States R&B throughout their recording career. Sure, their first albums included covers of Motown songs but even their final albums were built to a surprising degree on R&B. This is cast into brilliant relief on Telarc's latest compilation blues album, a collection of ten songs from the White Album, covered by artists such as Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Kenny Neal and Chris Duarte.

Opening with a rave-up version of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?", by Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, the mood is set with roadhouse sax and steely guitar leads. The result is a goof-off song turned into a great, greasy, groove. Lucky Peterson follows that up with a Chicago influenced "Yer Blues" that could have come off an early '60s Chess album. Maria Muldar contributes a smoothly smoking "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da", while Joe Lewis Walker chips in with a long, stunning, slow and beautiful "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". The most diffracted song is the album closer, "Dear Prudence", with Charlie Musselwhite on harp and Colin Linden on guitar. Always gentle, in the hands of these two this song becomes a sweet, summer, laid back instrumental.

It is odd that this release coincides with the soundtrack release, I Am Sam, which also features Beatles covers. But where that album is full of reverent remakes, many not more than the original with alternate vocalists, The Blues White Album accomplishes a far more difficult task, namely, of filtering well-known songs through a sympathetic lens, resulting in a new viewpoint on classic tunes. Recommended.



Enjoyment: 85

Sound Quality: 90











































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