Blues to the Bone

Blues to the Bone

by Etta James


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Over the past 40 years, Etta James’s career has been revived by soundtrack appearances, jazz ballads, and live sets. But on Blues to the Bone, the big, bossy-voiced singer, who has been performing since she was 13, goes back to the days when she recorded for Chess Records. In addition to James’s hot R&B hits, Chess also released the recordings of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and just about every other seminal artist in the electric blues movement. It is these masters that James salutes on Blues to the Bone. She slinks like a snake dancer through “Lil’ Red Rooster,” “The Sky Is Crying,” and “That’s Alright.” “Got My Mojo Working” and “Don’t Start Me to Talking” are dusted off for a more contemporary blues sound. Driven by the solid drumming of James’s son Donto, these versions are in line with the live shows James has been doing for the past 20 years. Reflecting the acoustic beginnings of the blues are stripped-to-the-bone renditions of the John Lee Hooker signature tune “Crawlin’ King Snake,” Elmore James’s “The Sky Is Crying,” and Lightnin’ Hopkins’s “Honey, Don’t Tear My Clothes.” Though there is a little renovation done to these blues foundations, Blues to the Bone is a sincere tribute.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/08/2004
Label: Imports
UPC: 0828766064421
catalogNumber: 6064499

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Etta James   Primary Artist,Vocals
Josh Sklair   Dobro,Guitar
Steve Davis   Background Vocals
Mike Finnegan   Piano
Bobby Murray   Guitar
Brian Ray   Guitar,Slide Guitar
John "Juke" Logan   Harmonica
Donto Metto James   Percussion,Drums
Sametto James   Bass,Bass Guitar
Yoshann Rush   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
John Lee Hooker   Composer
Etta James   Producer,Audio Production
J.B. Lenoir   Composer
Jimmy Reed   Composer
Roosevelt Sykes   Composer
Josh Sklair   Producer,Audio Production
Bernard Besman   Composer
Howlin' Wolf   Composer
Elmore James   Composer
Robert "P-Nut" Johnson   Composer
Clarence Lewis   Composer
Morgan Robinson   Composer
Jimmy Rogers   Composer
Donto Metto James   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Lupe DeLeon   Executive Producer
Sametto James   Producer,Audio Production
Rebecca Meck   Art Direction
Artis Mills   Executive Producer
Judy Werle   Contributor
Preston Foster   Composer
Lithoyfayne Pridgon   Liner Notes

Customer Reviews

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Blues to the Bone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago could do much worse than to make it this one. Like very few singers I can recall, Etta James just kept getting better at her craft. After learning of her death on January 20, 2012, I beefed up my Etta James music library by adding "Blues to the Bone", "Life, Love & the Blues", "The Dreamer", "Her Best", "Tell Mama" and "At Last!". She's ALWAYS been good, that much is certain. But, "Blues to the Bone" 2004, "Life Love & the Blues" 1998 and "The Dreamer" 2011 are, to my ears and soul, really special. Her voice is deeper, richer and you'll listen in awe at this consummate pro at the top of her game. But like I say, if you could just have ONE, "Blues to the Bone" is actually alive and breathing. Thank God you don't have to choose just one! Long live the Queen!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The legendary Etta James has said that she was inspired to record this album after seeing the PBS TV series "The Blues" produced by Martin Scorcese. Referring to the series James said, "What I found was so full of what life is about: being born and dying; joy and sorrow; salvation and sin......As I started reaching deeper I realized that most of the blues of that day was done by men. Women just didn't have the nerve. So I thought it was about time to show them what these songs might sound like coming from a whole different point of view." Surely can't comment on the differences between points of view but I can say this is one terrific album - a must-have for blues aficionados. "Honey Don't Tear My Clothes" is unbelievable, as is "Don't Start Me Talking." Featured on the album are James's sons Donto James and Sametto James; guitarists Josh Sklair and Bobby Murray plus harmonica player John "Juke" Logan. Liner notes are by Martin Scorcese. This one's a keeper! - Gail Cooke