CD Review Howlin’ Wolf – Live and Cookin’ at Alice’s Revisited
Raven Records – RVCD 336
‘Live and Cookin’at Alice’s Revisited’ was originally recorded in 1972, with Howlin Wolf, playing some fine Harmonica and singing as if his life depended on it across the eight tracks that formed the original release.
This fine re-release contains that original album, plus two bonus tracks, which for unknown reasons were left of the original, for the bonus tracks ‘The Big House’ and ‘Mr Airplane Man’ are of a high enough quality.
With support from his usual guitarist, the influential Hubert Sumlin, guitarist LV Williams, Tenor Saxophonist Eddie Shaw, Bassist David Myers, Pianist Albert Luandrew and drummer Fred Below, the ensemble tear through a series of blues songs, from ‘Sitting on top of the World’, which is one of Wolf’s best known songs, to the effortlessly funky ‘When I laid down I was Troubled’ to the slow, but menacing blues of many of the other tracks.
Although this album is obstensibly a blues release, the music takes elements of Swing Music and Jazz, with unison riffs on Harmonica, Sax and Guitars adding much of the colour to the performances.
Not much was caught of Howlin’ Wolf in the live arena, and judging from the evidence of this worthwhile release, that is a real shame.