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All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Bobby "Blue" Bland is closing in on sixty years as a professional singer (he cut his first single way back in 1951), and while his technical singing range has shrunk with age, he has more than compensated for it with his elegant sense of phrasing and his intelligent use of appropriate melisma, a trait that any number of contemporary would-be R&B singers (who all too often seem to strangle the ends of melody lines rather than glide naturally through them) would do well to emulate. Starting out as a raw blues shouter, Bland instinctively understood the benefits of balance and refinement, and by the time of his first big hit, "Farther Up the Road," which he cut for Don ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Bobby "Blue" Bland is closing in on sixty years as a professional singer (he cut his first single way back in 1951), and while his technical singing range has shrunk with age, he has more than compensated for it with his elegant sense of phrasing and his intelligent use of appropriate melisma, a trait that any number of contemporary would-be R&B singers (who all too often seem to strangle the ends of melody lines rather than glide naturally through them) would do well to emulate. Starting out as a raw blues shouter, Bland instinctively understood the benefits of balance and refinement, and by the time of his first big hit, "Farther Up the Road," which he cut for Don Robey's Duke Records in 1957, he wasn't just shouting anymore but giving his material real emotional breathing room, and developing his gospel-informed crying style, which put the blue back in the blues. This excellent 22-track selection spans Bland's career, beginning with key sides from his long stay at Duke like "Farther Up the Road," "I Pity the Fool," "Who Will the Next Fool Be?" and his brilliant re-imagining of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday Blues," which was a surprise hit for Bland in 1962, as well as his later hits for the ABC imprint Dunhill Records (Robey sold Duke Records to ABC in 1973 and Bland's contract was included in the deal), "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" and "I Wouldn't Treat a Dog (The Way You Treat Me)," both from 1974. Generally presented as a blues singer, Bland is equally at home in the R&B, soul and gospel areas, and when presented with a good pop ballad, he knows exactly what to do with it. Truthfully, there's as much Perry Como in his musical DNA as there is T-Bone Walker, and the mix makes Bland a completely unique singer. The bottom line here is that Bland is a singer's singer, and he has never strangled the life out of a song in his life. That's how you last nearly sixty years in a business that is always looking for the next big thing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2007
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • UPC: 602517169364
  • Catalog Number: 000816102
  • Sales rank: 27,442

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobby "Blue" Bland Primary Artist, Vocals
Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson Trumpet
Johnny Young Piano
Larry Carlton Guitar
Pete Christlieb Horn
Red Holloway Tenor Saxophone
Jerome Richardson Baritone Saxophone
Phil Upchurch Bass
Clifford Scott Alto Saxophone
Rudy Aikels Bass
The Anita Kerr Singers Background Vocals
Jimmy Beck Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Ben Benay Guitar
Ginger Blake Background Vocals
Johnny Board Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Oscar Brashear Trumpet
Skippy Brooks Piano
Garnett Brown Trombone
Rayfield Davers Baritone Saxophone
Pluma Davis Trombone
Wilton Felder Bass, Bass Guitar
Bobby Forte Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Freeman Drums
Ed Greene Drums
Clarence Holliman Guitar
Milton Hopkins Guitar
Jim Horn Horn
Paul Hubinon Horn
John Kelson Jr. Horn
B.B. King Guitar, Vocals
Lew McCreary Horn
Michael Omartian Organ, Piano
Ray Parker Jr. Guitar
Dean Parks Guitar
Harold Potier Drums
Benny Powell Trombone
Sid Sharp Concert Master
Hamp Simmons Bass
Gerald Sims Guitar
John Starks Drums
Tony Terran Horn
James Toney Organ
Louis Villery Bass
Maxine Willard Waters Background Vocals
Ernie Watts Horn
Snooky Young Trumpet
Teddy Reynolds Piano
Julia Tillman Background Vocals
Joe Scott Trumpet
Connie Mack Booker Piano
Technical Credits
Charlie Rich Composer
Brook Benton Composer
Billy Eckstine Composer
Earl Hines Composer
Steve Barri Composer, Producer
Bob Crowder Composer
Esmond Edwards Producer
Deadric Malone Composer
Andy McKaie Producer
Michael Omartian Composer
Michael Price Composer
Don Robey Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Jim McCrary Tray Photo
Jay Wellington Arranger
Fleecie Moore Composer
Joseph Scott Composer
Sam Theard Composer
Pearl Woods Composer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Ahmet Nugetre Composer
Joe Veasey Composer
LaCharles Harper Composer
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