Carey BELL – Deep Down 1995

Carey BELL – Deep Down 1995
Recorded at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, Illinois


Now one of the few survivors of the Chicago blues harmonica scene that once included Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, Bell has the control, full tone, and attack of his mentors. A former sideman for Muddy Waters, he was one of the last to learn his craft at the hands of the masters. This, his first Alligator album from 1995, updates several blues harmonica classics (Little Walter’s “I Got to Go,” Sonny Boy Willliamson’s “After You,” and a superb reading of Walter Horton’s “Easy”), without ever losing sight of Alligator’s company credo of “House Rockin’ Music.” In truth, Bell is not a great vocalist, and if the Walters and the Sonny Boys were still around, he wouldn’t get a look-in. As it is, he’s one of the few surviving bluesmen to come up from Mississippi, having seen and heard much of what the old guys saw.
By Colin Escott. AMG.
I have heard a great deal of praise for this album over the several years since I became a harpist and I had long been curious if it was worth the great reviews it got. Finally, I afforded the opportunity to hear it for myself when I recieved it as a gift. My initial reaction was WOW! I had heard Carey Bell before, but not like this. This album has a distinctly tough, gritty feeling, the like of which I haven’t heard since I picked up Junior Wells’ outstanding “Hoodoo Man Blues.”
The harp is the real show stealer here. Carey Bell has always been a bit underrated, not getting quite the same recognition as James Cotton or Little Walter. On this album, Carey clearly demonstrates that he can match anyone playing today. His tone is unbelievably fat, and his phrasing is remarkably intricate. Coupled with his ability to blow chromatic harmonica like no other, Bell really is one of the greatest players out there.

Carey Bell is not the most talked about vocalist, and has actually been derided as being a sub par singer. I don’t get it. He’s not Muddy Waters, but in his own way, Carey is a good blues singer. His rough voice works well, particularly on such tracks as “When I get Drunk.”

The backing band is definatly in the groove too, with Lucky Peterson giving great work on keys and Carey’s son, Lurrie, puts on a show on guitar.

Overall, this is a stellar blues album. I had always liked Carey’s work. After I heard this, he quickly became a personal favorite in the word of harmonica players. Once you hear this disc, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.
By  Alex “Harpskier”.
More than a quarter century after he cut his debut album, Bell recently made his finest disc to date. Boasting superior material and musicianship (guitarists Carl Weathersby and Lurrie Bell and pianist Lucky Peterson are all stellar) and a goosed-up energy level that frequently reaches incendiary heights, the disc captures Bell outdoing himself vocally on the ribald “Let Me Stir in Your Pot” and a suitably loose “When I Get Drunk” and instrumentally on the torrid “Jawbreaker.” For a closer, Bell settled on the atmospheric Horton classic “Easy”; he does it full justice.
By Bill Dahl, AMG.
Lucky Peterson- (Piano),
Lurrie Bell- (Guitar),
Ray Allison- (Drums),
Carey Bell- (Harmonica),(Vocals),
Johnny B. Gayden- (Bass),
Carl Weathersby- (Guitar).
01. I Got To Go 3:56
02. Let Me Stir In Your Pot 3:42
03. When I Get Drunk 5:16
04. Low Down Dirty Shame 4:29
05. Borrow Your Love 3:59
06. Lonesome Stranger 4:03
07. After You 3:41
08. I Got A Rich Man’s Woman 4:43
09. Jawbreaker 2:57
10. Must I Holler? 7:00
11. Tired Of Giving You My Love 3:49
12. Easy 4:44

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