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The Devil Ain't Got No Music

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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The Devil Ain't Got No Music
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Audio CD, April 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Lurrie Bell is well known as one of the key second generation blues artists in the Chicago blues scene. Not as well known is that he has been playing gospel music since he was a child. The recording features Joe Louis Walker, Billy Branch, Kenny 'Beedy Eyes' Smith and Bill Sims Jr. The songs include many traditional gospel standards he learned as a child as well as songs by Muddy Waters, Reverend Gary Davis and Tom Waits.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aria BG Records
  • ASIN: B0075MFS26
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Those already familiar with Lurrie Bell probably know him for his masterful, muscular electric Chicago blues guitar style. For decades, Lurrie has proven himself to be a torchbearer for the sizzling guitar style originated by the likes of Buddy Guy, Magic Slim and Otis Rush.

His latest effort, "The Devil Ain't Got No Music," is so far removed from his other recorded works that you may find yourself checking the CD to make sure you actually purchased a Lurrie Bell album. This however, is not necessarily a bad thing.

What's so strikingly different about "The Devil Ain't Got No Music" is that Bell has stripped everything down to its barest essentials. Most of these songs only feature Bell's voice, and his hushed acoustic strumming. While at times accompanied by sparse percussion such as handclaps and foot stomps, and the ocassional harmonica and slide guitar, this is essentially the sound of Lurrie Bell sitting alone with his thoughts. One can't help but imagine this is what it would sound like if Bell were busking on a street corner.

The second striking difference in this album is the subject matter. Bell meticulously selected the songs on this album to reflect his appreciation for the gospel music he grew up with as a child. From the opener, "Swing Low," to the closing meditation of "Death Don't Have No Mercy," every song here captures Bell's love of his faith and the songs that inspire him. Nearly all are covers; the only original song written for this album is the title track, written by producer and collaborator Matthew Skoller.

Bell's performance on the album is startlingly raw and personal.
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the gruff and gritty Chicago sound has segued into a Delta-tinged backporch solid collection. A good example is Buddy Guy's 'Sweet Tea' release several years earlier...very impressive effort here.
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