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James Blood UlmerAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $16.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2005 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $16.86  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: HYENA Records
  • ASIN: B0009HLCHE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,534 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Take My Music Back To The Church
2. I Can't Take It Anymore
3. Where Did All The Girls Come From
4. I Ain't Superstitious
5. White Man's Jail
6. High Yellow
7. The Evil One
8. Geechee Joe
9. Love Dance Rag
10. Sittin' On Top Of The World
11. My Most Favorite Thing
12. Devil's Got To Burn

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

'Birthright' gets closer to the root of James Blood Ulmer's genius than any album in his long and distinguished discography. It's a brave record for an artist to make this far into his career. To strip the music bare and leave nowhere to hide, thus presenting the songs in an utterly transparent form is always a risky move. Sin Drome. 2005.


"...a stunning testimonial to the spiritual, psychic, social and existential intensity that's at the heart of the blues expression." -- Living Blues, May/June 2005

" once meditative and enraged; celebratory and heartbreaking; bathed in folklore but strikingly fresh. Stunning, A+, five stars." -- San Diego Union Tribune, June 2, 2005

"Birthright, indeed. Here, it's clear that Ulmer was born to play with fire." -- Time Out Chicago, May 2005

"The most authentic and important blues preacher since the Rev. Davis...a modern milestone in the story of the blues." -- Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 24, 2005

"Ulmer's Birthright, cements his standing as a leading interpreter of the blues...a transcendent and edgy performance by the guitarist." -- Washington Post, June 1, 2005

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ulmer's Modern Masterpiece June 18, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I've had the opportunity to see James Blood Ulmer a few times over the last few years. I've become a big fan of his distinct originality on the guitar. He plays with freewheeling abandon and gutteral instinct. Of course, in becoming aware of his music, I picked up copies of the two blues records, Memphis Blood and No Escape From the Blues, as well as some of the older stuff like Odyssey and Freelancing (on vinyl). I love all of those albums. The two blues discs are some of my favorites of current recordings in the genre.

But little prepared me for Birthright, which might just be James Blood Ulmer's masterpiece. It's just James Blood Ulmer here completely solo. The record almost feels ancient. Like a Son House or Robert Johnson recording but in the modern day. Parts of it are haunted as Ulmer digs and slashs on the guitar, his voice trembling with a natural vibrato. Truly Spectacular. Other songs like Geechee Joe and a reworking of his song, Where Did All The Girls Come From, are quite beautiful and imbued with grace. At times the music almost seems like folk art. Ulmer doesn't sound schooled in the blues -- there's not a traditional blues lick to be found. The music sounds like an exorcism -- a natural release of song and sound. Birthright is actually a perfect title because it's exactly what an album like this is. What Ulmer's doing can't be faked. It's his and he owns it.

I highly recommend this to people in search of the real thing -- of real music, of real expression, of real soul. James Blood Ulmer - Birthright is a modern gem and one of the most compelling CDs I've heard all year.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real (New) Old-time Blues June 17, 2005
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard this album, I thought it was mostly Ulmer covering old and somewhat obscure acoustic blues songs. But in fact, he wrote all but two of the songs. Somehow he was able to capture the spirit of the real old-time blues within his own personal guitar style, which is derived from the very modern harmolodic approach. It is a solo ablum, with him singing on every cut and playing a spacey flute at the very end. Nonetheless, the sound is very rich, and he manages to fill in all the spaces of the music so that you don't feel that anything is missing.

I have liked most of what Blood Ulmer has put out, but this strikes me as being one of his most beautiful albums. It is heartfelt, musically intriguing, and rich in the tradition of the blues. The original blues players wrote songs about their everyday lives and events, mentioning people and places that they knew. Ulmer recaptures this tradition on Geeche Joe, a song about his grandfather, which is extremely touching in his love for the old man and his struggles with life and racial prejudice. And his rearrangment of Sitting on Top of the World is amazing and beautiful.

I heard his previous blues CD, Memphis Blood, and I found it entertaining but not particularly interesting or deep. This CD is all those things, and I expect to return to it often.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The NEW version of Country Blues!!! May 6, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This James Blood Ulmer CD is his Best since FREELANCING and TALES OF CAPTAIN BLACK;but actually more innovative because He takes old Country blues and fuses it with his Ornette Coleman harmodelics and he comes up with the most innovative approach to Country Blues since John Lee Hooker;Blood Ulmer has finally found his Calling!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensely personal August 16, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Not a party record, and not something for driving, this is an intensely personal album, made to be listened to. And if you're unfamiliar with Ulmer, be aware, this is a guy who cut his teeth with Ornette Coleman, so you shouldn't expect just another blues album. But with patience and attention, this is one of the most surprising and rewarding things I've listened to in a long time.
Don't miss the Easter egg. I just discovered it listening to the CD on my computer. The last track ends with several minutes more to play. After a couple minutes, at about 6:15, the music comes back on with a flute solo!
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