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Big Joe Shelton - The Older I Get The Better I Was

Alt 45 records

10 tracks 37:50

Far too often these days, bands and individual musicians label themselves As ‘BLUES’ but when you listen to them they really ain’t. Big Joe Shelton, on the other hand is the real deal! Born and raised in northern Mississippi, on the Black Prairie region, Joe has been steeped in the blues since early childhood. The lucky **** was befriended by Big Joe Williams and learned at his feet. He learned well!
This CD is Shelton’s second CD for Alt 45 Records and was recorded in BB King’s studio in Itta Bena, MS. and follows his award winner Black Prairie Blues. This one will follow a similar stellar path.

The music is sometimes raw and often, Joe’s lyrics are very funny. Over all, the effect of the album is to make you realise that all those calls to Keep The Blues Alive are really unnecessary as Big Joe and his like are doing it by doing their thang. God bless ‘em.
The music on the CD is wonderful. The opener, a super little shuffle called Hole In Yo’ Soul says it all and comes with with a chorus that goes “If you don’t dig the blues you got a hole in your soul” (AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH, WE CHORUS). The track comes – as do many others - with some sizzling, big toned harp work from the man himself.

The title track The Older I Get The Better I Was is a delightful song best related to by people who are past their prime (age wise) on the theme of, what I used to do all night, now takes me all night to do, (Another shout of AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH.) Super harp work here too. The rest of the band are on very fine form too. The remainder of the tracks, in a similar vein are right up there in ‘award winning’ territory.

I must mention before I end this review, the super track called Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen, that opens with some drum work reminiscent of a New Orlin’s marching band which and develops into funky horn driven stunner, complete with accordion, tuba and a tenor solo…what more can you ask. Check the lyrics: Down in Louisiana where the alligators grow With Poke Salad Annie and Marie Laveaux. lives the woman of my dreams; She’s the psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen. (All the lyrics for all the songs are at )

Lots of air-play for this CD, no doubt about that and there’s not a track you could not play!

Reviewer Ian McKenzie is a Brit Living in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South a monthly publication giving info on news, gigs and reviews of events and CDs for the south if England. Ian has two blues radio shows one broadcast on Phonic FM in the UK (12 noon Central, 6pm UK) on on Wednesdays and the second airing on KCOR (Kansas City On Line Radio) on Fridays (12 noon Central, 6pm UK)

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