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17.5.08

Luther Allison




Luther Allison - Hand Me Down My Moonshine - 1992 - InAk/Ruf

This release was the late Luther Allison's first acoustic album, and was recorded at his Paris residence. Ruf Records has added another facet to the rich legacy of Allison with these tunes. These intimate acoustic encounters with Luther, his guitar and occasional friends are rarities in the body of his work and performances. Luther's vibrant acoustic stylings and his down-home, unamplified vocals make this affair a pleasurable listen. Accompanying Luther on all but one tune is his touring bassist, Zox on acoustic bass. Euro-guitarist Patrick Verbeke helps out on two tunes with contributions on steel and 12-string guitars. Luther's son, Bernard Allison provides the slide guitar action and background vocals on the final cut. Thierry Menesclou gives up the harmonica chops on the same tune. Luther's guitar virtuosity, along with his familiarity and association with his music makes this effort another feather in his hat. The feel of this music is restful, and yet playfully exchanging. It will seem as if you are sitting in Luther's living room and listening to this. The DAT recordings are pure and crisp with little sound distortion. Of the twelve tunes on this release, Luther's pen stroked off ten of them. He also produced the biscuit. Luther Allison was always an intimate performer; one who engaged his audience and took them on a musical excursion. This disc is not any different! Luther is still here to give us some choice encounters with the blues. These acoustic sessions are only a sweet topping on his already multi-layered cake! © Mark A. Cole

Hand Me Down My Moonshine is a great all-acoustic session from Allison that shows the hidden side of his talent. His playing is elegant and subtle, and is a treat for all true blues fans.. Check out his great "Blue Streak" album.

TRACKS & COMPOSERS WHERE KNOWN

Good Morning Love - Luther Allison
One More - Luther Allison
Lightning Bolt
I Need A Friend
Castle - Luther Allison
She's Fine - Luther Allison
Stay With Me
Farmer's Child
Don't Burn My Bread
You're The One - Jimmy Rogers
Hand Me Down My Moonshine
Meet Me In My Own Hometown - W. Williams

MUSICIANS

Luther Allison - vocals, acoustic guitar
Bernard Allison - acoustic slide guitar
Zox - acoustic bass
Patrick Verbeke - 12-string guitar, steel guitar
Thierry Menesclou - harmonica

BIO (Wikipedia)

Luther Allison (August 17, 1939 — August 12, 1997) was an American blues guitarist. He was born in Widener, Arkansas and moved with his family, at age twelve, to Chicago, Illinois in 1951. He had taught himself guitar whilst in Arkansas and began listening to blues extensively. Three years later he began hanging outside blues clubs with the hopes of being invited to perform. He played with Howlin' Wolf's band and backed up James Cotton. His big break came in 1957 when Muddy Waters invited Allison to the stage. He worked the club circuit throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s and recorded his first single in 1965. Allison was signed to the Delmark Records label in 1967 and the following year his debut album Love Me Mama was released. He performed a set at the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival and was invited to the next three consecutive festivals. He also toured nationwide and, in 1972, was signed to Motown Records, one of the few blues artists to do so. By the mid 1970s he began touring Europe, and moved to France in 1977. He would not return to the United States for another fifteen years. Allison was known for his lengthy concert performances, lengthy guitar solos and crowd walking with his Gibson Les Paul. Allison's manager, and European agent, Thomas Ruf founded the label Ruf Records in 1994. Since signing with Ruf Records, Allison then launched a comeback in association with Alligator Records. Alligator founder, Bruce Iglauer, convinced Allison to return to the United States. The album Soul Fixin' Man was recorded and released in 1994, and Allison toured the U.S. and Canada. Allison won four W.C. Handy Awards in 1994. With the James Solberg Band backing him, non-stop touring and the release of Blue Streak (featuring song "Cherry Red Wine"), Allison continued to earn more Handys and gain wider recognition. Allison scored a host of Living Blues Awards and was featured on the cover pages of major blues publications. He appeared at the 1995 San Francisco Blues Festival. Allison covered "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the 1997 Rolling Stones' tribute album, Paint it Blue: Songs of the Rolling Stones. In the middle of his summer of 1997 tour, Allison checked into a hospital for chest pains and breathing problems. It was discovered that he had a tumor on his lung that was about to metastasize to his spine. In and out of a coma, Allison died on August 12, 1997, five days before his 58th birthday, in Madison, Wisconsin. His album Reckless had just been released. His son Bernard Allison, at one time a member of his band, is now a solo recording artist. Luther Allison was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times called him "The Bruce Springsteen of the blues".