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Blues at Midnight
     

Blues at Midnight

by Bobby "Blue" Bland
 
Nobody puts the hurtin’ on a song like Bobby Blue Bland. He does it not by screaming or crying but by burying his emotions deep and simply telling a story. Perhaps the proud but devastated singing comes from his impoverished rural upbringing: Bland recounts that as a youngster he emptied spittoons in a Tennessee bank and received a dollar for every two he cleaned. Or

Overview

Nobody puts the hurtin’ on a song like Bobby Blue Bland. He does it not by screaming or crying but by burying his emotions deep and simply telling a story. Perhaps the proud but devastated singing comes from his impoverished rural upbringing: Bland recounts that as a youngster he emptied spittoons in a Tennessee bank and received a dollar for every two he cleaned. Or maybe the singer learned that strictly southern blues approach from contemporaries like the late, great Little Willie John or Junior Parker. With some '60s albums and numerous awards, that voice has given Bland amazing staying power in the constantly changing music arena. And he doesn’t change his approach one iota on Blues at Midnight. Whether begging his honey for direction on “Baby What’s Wrong with You,” expressing bafflement about intimate relationships on “This Man-Woman Thing,” or hoping his ship will come in on “My Sunday’s Comin’ Soon,” Bland is blue through and through. Even his rendition of the standard “What a Wonderful World” seems to come from an eternal sadness. There is one all-out boast tune on the album: Bland reprises his hit “I’m a Bluesman” against a stark instrumental setting, once again proving that he owns not only the tune but most of the territory surrounding it.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
In several important respects, Blues at Midnight is what an album by a major septuagenarian blues singer should be. The production is straight-ahead and dignified, and very much in Bland's time-honored tributary about halfway between blues and soul, with plenty of organ and some brass. The songs are a little on the generic side, but they're suitable, lightly melancholy vehicles for Bland's subdued persona. While Bobby's voice sounds thinner and more weathered than it did several decades previously, as could be expected from a 73-year-old, it's still in decent, expressive shape. Where this disc falls down is in the repeated insertions of Bland's trademark tic: a full-on snort, just as blatant as someone gauchely imitating a heavy snorer. That might seem like a small thing to pick on, but if this were anyone other than Bland, no one would have allowed any of those irritating snorts on the record, let alone dozens of them. It's an unfortunate blemish on what's otherwise a reasonably respectable session, which leans toward the side of the blues repertoire that's sadder, winding down toward after hours.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/11/2003
Label:
Malaco Records
UPC:
0048021751228
catalogNumber:
7512
Rank:
91210

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bobby "Blue" Bland   Primary Artist,Vocals
Gary Armstrong   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Jewel Bass   Background Vocals
Larry Byrom   Guitar
Roger Hawkins   Drums
David Hood   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jim Horn   Flute,Baritone Saxophone
Clayton Ivey   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Piano (Grand),Hammond B3
Jimmy Johnson   Guitar
Valeria Kashimuri   Background Vocals
George Lawrence   Drums
Will McFarlane   Guitar
Steve Patrick   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
James Robertson   Drums
Charles Rose   Trombone
Harvey Thompson   Tenor Saxophone
Carson Whitsett   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Piano (Grand)
Jim Williamson   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Reggie Young   Guitar
Freddie Young   Background Vocals
Vinnie Ciesielski   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Doug Moffat   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Vinnie Grizell   Vocals
Sam Mosley   Guitar
James "Boo Boo" Davis   Vocals

Technical Credits

Bobby "Blue" Bland   Liner Notes
Frederick Knight   Composer
George Jackson   Composer
Larry Addison   Composer
Harrison Calloway   Composer,Horn Arrangements
Tommy Couch   Producer,Audio Production
Tommy Couch   Producer,Audio Production
George Douglas   Composer
Charles Hart   Engineer
Jerry Masters   Engineer
Steve Melton   Engineer
Charles Rose   Horn Arrangements
Wolf Stephenson   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Audio Production,Vocal Editing
Bob Thiele   Composer
Jeff Tweed   Composer
George David Weiss   Composer
Rue Davis   Composer
Robert A. Johnson   Composer
Kent Bruce   Engineer
Dennis J. Heckler   Graphic Design
Sean Macke   Vocal Editing
Joe Shamwell   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Sam Mosley   Composer
Walter Godbold   Composer
A.D. Prestage   Composer

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