Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Artie 'Blues Boy' White's overlooked Home Tonight

The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings INEXCUSABLY ignores contemporary soul-blues. I triggered a discussion at the yahoo Post-War Blues List at yahoo groups, which you might check out in the archives. This is one of many terrific recordings which should have been included (and it is available from Amazon among other places). My review is from 1997 and originally appeared in the Jazz & Blues Report from June 1997 as well as the DC Blues calendar from that time.

Artie ‘Blues Boy’ White
Home Tonight


Artie White serves up another serving of first rate soul-blues on the his new Waldoxy release, Home Tonight. Material or production wise, this is a typical Malaco/Waldoxy set, with a tight band of guitarists, Big Mike Griffin and Williams Andrew Thomas, bassist David Hood, keyboard whiz Clayton Ivey and drummer and co-producer Paul H. Lee. Add the Muscle Shoals Horns on the uptempo soulful opening number, when Artie tells his woman not to worry because Your Man Is Home Tonight. It’s followed by two straight-forward slow blues, "Somebody’s Fool", and a terrific new Travis Haddix authored song, "Man of the House", where Artie tells his woman he’s in a bad mood this morning and he just doesn’t give a damn, with Big Mike taking a nice stinging solo. The mood is reversed in Percy Strother’s soulful "If You Don’t Love Me," sung from the point of view of the woman whose man is too often out of the house, warning that there is someone to take her man’s place. The blues dominates this album with Johnson and Mosley contributing "Black Cat Scratchin’" as well as "The More You Lie to Me," a tasty number set to a Jimmy Reed groove on which Bobby Rush adds nice harp (he also adds harp to the closing country-flavored soulballad, "One Step From the Blues.") Waldoxy has hit the mark on this set. White is in terrific form and he’s given strong lyrics to work with on this release.

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