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Luther Allison - Underground


Luther Allison

Ruf Records - RUF1132

Available from Ruf Records' web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

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This was Luther's debut and recorded in 1958 when he was 18, and remained hidden away admist much 'stuff' in his widows house for many years. Considering the technology of the time and it is a fantastic recording that captures this Blues giant at the beginning with all the burning intensity of his playing and singing. It is a short disc, just about 30 minutes, however it is filled with the fire and passion that Luther was known to give with each performance. According to Luther's son Bernard (a talent in his own right), Bobby Rush, who plays bass and produced the disc, did some bartering with Wonderful Studios in Chicago for some time in the studio at night. He was limited by what he could work out with the owners of the studio. This was also one of Bobby Rush's first jobs as the producer and he admits he was quite green. There are no writers' credits however these are all songs that were being played by the blues men of Chicago at the time. The musicians at the session are; Luther on lead guitar and vocals, Bobby Rush and Mule on bass, and Bobby King plays the drums. This is a no frills recording but your can hear the force in Allison's voice and the energy and sensitivity of his guitar playing that was later to burst upon the record scene and cause such a commotion. It sheds light on and portrays the beginnings of a monumental artist, one that would more than live up to his promise.

Track List:

  • Hide Away
  • Don't Start Me Talking
  • Drivin' Wheel
  • Cut You Loose
  • Easy Baby
  • You're Gonna Miss Me
  • Take My Love
  • Rock Me Baby

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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