Friday, February 22, 2008

The Blues Boy's Welcome Home

During a discussion in on post-war blues list at, one of the editor's of the Penguin Guide to the Blues conceded that it should have included Artie 'Blues Boy' White. White was one of the 'soul-blues' acts omitted from this deeply flawed publication. Within the world of soul-blues, the Blues Boy was aptly termed with more of a straight blues feel. I remember seeing him at the Pocono Blues Festival, and that was a real pleasure. He was a terrific singer, person and pool player. The following review appeared in the Jazz & Blues Report in 1997.

Artie 'Blues Boy' White 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 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 soul ballad, 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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