Wild Cards

Wild Cards

by Al Miller
     
 
Al Miller had been contributing to the Chicago blues scene for over 30 years when, in 1994, he finally recorded his first album as a leader, Wild Cards. The singer/guitarist/harpist was far from a huge name in the blues world, but then, a lack of commercial success wasn't something that discouraged Delmark founder Bob Koester; if Koester felt that a blues or

Overview

Al Miller had been contributing to the Chicago blues scene for over 30 years when, in 1994, he finally recorded his first album as a leader, Wild Cards. The singer/guitarist/harpist was far from a huge name in the blues world, but then, a lack of commercial success wasn't something that discouraged Delmark founder Bob Koester; if Koester felt that a blues or jazz artist deserved to be documented, he would put out an album regardless of how obscure he/she was. For this enjoyable, if unremarkable, session, Delmark hired Dave Specter (an excellent guitarist who shouldn't be confused with software public relations man David Spector) to do the producing, and employed his guitar on eight of its 14 selections. The personnel varies from song to song, and the CD's vocals are handled not only by Miller, but also by Willie Kent, Tad Robinson (whose gruff style recalls Dave Prater of Sam & Dave) and Steve Freund. Miller, in fact, lays out on six tracks; in other words, he lays out on almost half of his own album. Electric Chicago blues is Wild Cards' primary focus, although the CD successfully detours into '60s-type soul on "Stuck in Chicago" and acknowledges jazz with a gutsy version of Gene Ammons' "Red Top." Specter isn't heard on the latter, which is surprising because the bluesman is heavily influenced by jazz and would have been perfect for the tune. Wild Cards isn't fantastic, but it's a competent offering from an artist who deserved to be documented as a leader.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/1995
Label:
Delmark
UPC:
0038153067526
catalogNumber:
675

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miller   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Drums,Harp,Vocals,Soloist
Dave Specter   Guitar,Soloist
Steve Freund   Guitar,Vocals
Willie Kent   Bass,Vocals
Phil Baron   Organ
John Brumbach   Tenor Saxophone
Dez Desormeaux   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Mark Fornek   Drums
Rob Mazurek   Trumpet
Mike McCurdy   Bass
Tad Robinson   Vocals
Ken Saydak   Organ,Piano
Don Stiernberg   Mandolin
Harlan Terson   Bass
Donny Nichilo   Piano
Ted Robinson   Vocals

Technical Credits

Dave Specter   Arranger,Producer,Contributor
Paul Serrano   Engineer
Steve Freund   Arranger,Engineering
Robert G. Koester   Producer
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Kate Hoddinott   Artwork,Art Direction
Miller   Arranger
Steve Wagner   Engineer

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