Class last night was devoted to listening. Shoji shared a variety of versions of I'm Ready with us, starting with Muddy and moving to a few other singers.
- Muddy from the album titled I'm Ready featuring Jerry Portnoy on chromatic and Big Walter Horton on diatonic, plus a great lineup of Jimmy Rogers, Pine Top, Bob Margolin and Willie Big Eyes Smith.
- Muddy from the London Session - of note are the horn section, the box shuffle and it is Carey Bell on chromatic.
- Muddy with Paul Butterfield on the Fathers and Sons album. Note that Butterfield does not play chromatic, opting instead for both second and third position diatonic playing.
- From The Blues Never Die with James Cotton singing and playing chromatic. Note the piano which sounds like the recording because it is Otis Spann.
- Junior Well takes a different arrangement approach by not playing stops in the chorus where we expect them, hitting just one at the turn to the four chord. This is a live recording and a poor mix, but you get to hear Junior playing second position harp on the song and mixing in a horn section.
- Lastly Shoji shared his personal favorite I'm Ready version and no, it's not the one on his new CD. He's a huge fan of Albert King's arrangement on the Albert CD - horns, no harp, no stops, box shuffle and simply a hot version. Check it out.
- CORRECTION: This session's recording date is Monday, February 22. (NOT the 15th as reported last week)
New Cool Old School
Our own Shoji Naito has released his first CD!
New Cool Old School features 13 of Shoji's blues friends on fourteen brilliant tracks that strip away studio polish in favor of real, straight-ahead blues. The group hit the studio with no set list, no rehearsal and simply made music because they love to play together. This is blues from the pros and YOU NEED THIS DISC!
It's available now on iTunes for download, on CD Baby for download or disc, or you can catch Shoji in person at Old Town to pick up a copy.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew