Wild Cards

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/27/1995
  • Label: Delmark
  • UPC: 038153067526
  • Catalog Number: 675
  • Sales rank: 356,062

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Don't Play (3:34)
  2. 2 Stuck In Chicago (3:50)
  3. 3 Seventy-Four (6:50)
  4. 4 Long Grey Mare (4:05)
  5. 5 Can't Stay Here No More (5:12)
  6. 6 Special Way (4:31)
  7. 7 Deal The Cards (5:23)
  8. 8 Red Top Boogie (4:22)
  9. 9 Fallin' Rain (5:18)
  10. 10 I Had A Dream (6:15)
  11. 11 Jockey Blues (5:07)
  12. 12 Big 'C' Blues (5:05)
  13. 13 Blues For John Littlejohn (6:24)
  14. 14 Sittin' Here Thinkin' (4:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Al Miller Primary Artist, 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
Al Miller Arranger
Steve Wagner Engineer
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