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Vince 'One Note' Velour plays with 'sleazy rockin' rhythm & blues' outfit The Velours. As this top five reveals, his early love of British R&B blends now with some of the more edgy recent stylists. And that's just the haircuts.
1. Girls Go Wild - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
For me, this album did for white-boy blues what the Ramones and the Pistols did to rock and roll: Four young guys take a musical genre that has long been stale and hackneyed, and strip off all the crap. Three minute songs (some of which have no guitar solos! Wow!), humour, tattoos, and, er, turbans. For me, every single track administers a knee in the crotch to the Ferrari-driving, farmhouse-in-Surrey blues hell of the late 70s. Musically, it also fits in the punk bracket: Jimmie Vaughan's guitar playing is somehow sloppy and lazy, yet in a knowing, deliberate sort of way. No doubt he could have played like his younger brother had he wanted to, but there's something more soulful and less flashy about this. Kim Wilson's vocals are sleazy, the harp playing just has to be heard to be believed. And it's all topped off with one of best record sleeves I've ever seen.
2. Hard Again - Muddy Waters
often does someone release a "comeback" album that's somehow
better than anything they released back in the day?
=3. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers: Bluesbreakers/A Hard Road
5. King King - The Red Devils
The Red Devils were an American R&B five-piece, led by harpist/singer Lester Butler (who later died from either a heroin overdose or was murdered, no-one can agree). As one Amazon review reads: "This is tuff blues, not boohoo stuff." This live album was recorded in 1992, and produced by hip-hop/metal weirdo Rick Rubin. It's incredibly rough, and slightly scary. The audience sounds like it's about to haul you outside and beat you to death with pool cues and a jack handle. The vocals are distorted and the guitars are bright. They sound like the Fabulous Thunderbirds on crack. Which I'm guessing is probably pretty close to what they were.
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