Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jimmy Burns Lively Live at B.L.U.E.S. CD-DVD

Here is a review I recently wrote for a couple of publications. I made a minor change in what may have been published elsewhere to clarify a point about two songs on the DVD not on the CD

Younger brother of the veteran bluesman Eddie Burns, the Mississippi-born bluesman has distinguished his modern Chicago blues with some tastefully integrated soul accents. His latest Delmark disc (and DVD) is Live at B.L.U.E.S., the celebrated Chicago club. With his solid band of second guitar, Tony Palmer; Greg McDaniel, bass; and James Carter, drums, Burns launches his live set with what is perhaps his signature song, Leaving Here Walking, with striking guitar and his vocal of leaving and going back to his woman back in Mississippi. Its a crisply delivered performance with a solid solo as well. Mixing in other Burns originals like Better Know What You’re Doing and Miss Annie Lou with fresh, interesting reworkings of Little Walter’s Can’t Hold Out Much Longer, and Elmore James’ Wild About You, Baby, Burns showcases his aching, soulful singing with fine playing. Perhaps a few songs go on a bit too long and some solos are more jams over a bass vamp, but this is a live performance after all and is representative of the solid performances by Burns that this writer has seen. A bonus is a guest appearance by Jesse Fortune who is terrific on Lowell Fulson’s Three O’Clock Blues which is mis-attributed to B.B. King. There is nearly 70 minutes on the CD and the DVD has an additional two songs for 80 minutes. I have never been the B.L.U.E.S. and wonder if the room is a narrow room with a somewhat small stage as many of the camera angles of the performers are directed upward at the faces or instruments of Burns and band members and not many at eye level and less crowd shots say than the wonderful videos of Mississippi Heat and Tail Dragger. Still the additional songs are not filler and could have been interchanged with some of the songs on the CD without changing the quality of the cd. Thanks Delmark for another solid CD/DVD release.

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