Chicago Blues All-Stars: Red, Hot & Blue Review

Chicago Blues All-Stars are a funky, energetic musical revue that celebrates the blues genre, both past and present. Frontmen “Killer” Ray Allison and Daniel “Chicago Slim” Ivankovich are two seemingly omnipresent figures in blues rock. Allison has been on a regular touring circuit over the past four decades, and has been a key musical figure in the bands of James Cotton, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, and Muddy Waters. Chicago Slim has also led a reputable life of blues, playing alongside such legendary artists as Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In addition to these two musical masters, the revue features the All-Star Horns section, led by R&B veteran Johnny Cotton. The new album Red, Hot & Blue is a testament to the passion these musicians have for the genre and their dedication to keeping blues alive.

Red, Hot & Blue’s opener, “Everything’s Gonna’ Be Alright,” is a heavy and powerful track to remind us that blues is not only about feeling down, but about trying to make everything okay in the end. The ever-funky Johnny B. Gayden comes in grooving on bass in “Feeling Sexy,” a track that is seductive and slick. Scott Dirk shows off his harmonica skills on “Wonder Why,” a fast-paced jazzy tune that laments a lost lover. “Snatch It Back and Hold It” is a great Junior Wells cover that pays homage to the bluesman while remaining original in its own right. Sticking to simplicity, the next track “Walking the Dog” makes the mundane song-worthy as Allison croons nursery rhyme-style lyrics to a funky beat. “Wang Dang Doodle” is another excellently crafted cover that brings a new flavor to the original song, written by Willie Dixon for Howlin’ Woolf. “Hoodoo Man Blues” nicely incorporates the sounds of an organ into the band’s already eclectic sound, as does the closing track “Mad Hatter’s Blues,” a slow and tired-eye end-of-the-night tune.

Chicago Blues All-Stars is truly a collection of excellent musicians from the genre all rolled into one amazing package. The band has performed onstage with such artists as Eric Clapton, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Rolling Stones and many other famous blues giants. Red, Hot & Blue is an album that is skillfully and thoughtfully laid out, backed by incredible musical talent and a level of passion and love for the blues genre that is quite unparalleled elsewhere in this day and age.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Everything’s Gonna’ Be Alright
– Feeling Sexy
– Snatch It Back and Hold It

The Big Hit

– Everything’s Gonna’ Be Alright

Review by Eileen Quaranto

One thought on “Chicago Blues All-Stars: Red, Hot & Blue Review

  • Seen Chicago blues all stars at kingstons mines back in June talk to the band and gave me a copy of the new cd I like it so much put in my iPod.


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