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Bad Blood In The City

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 1, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions is James Blood Ulmer's most recent collaboration with Vernon Reid and The Memphis Blood Blues Band. It's built around a cycle of original Ulmer songs which directly address Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. With this album, Ulmer has delivered one of the most stirring and emotionally powerful recordings of his career. There are also a handful of classic blues interpretations that serve to further explore Katrina's sub-plot of race, poverty and struggle, including readings of Son House's "Grinnin' In Your Face," Junior Kimbrough's "Sad Days, Lonely Nights," John Lee Hooker's "This Land Is No One's Land," Bessie Smith's "Backwater Blues," Howlin Wolf's "Commit A Crime" and Willie Dixon's "Dead Presidents."

Review

"...pure, raw emotion, fueled by Ulmer's deep, rich voice." -- Dusted.com

"Best blues record of the year." -- AllAboutJazz.com

"Packed with detail, a defiant spirit and often riveting performances, 'Bad Blood' delivers both darkness and dawn." -- Austin American Statesman

"This disc is filled with remarkable moments from an artist whose intensity, spirit, and undiluted passion make him one of the blues' most haunting modern masters." -- Blues Revue

"Ulmer is a major 21st century blues artist who transcends category, and this disc is a major work." -- Living Blues

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Survivors of the Hurricane
  2. Sad Days, Lonely Nights
  3. Katrina
  4. Let's Talk About Jesus
  5. This Land Is Nobody's Land
  6. Dead Presidents
  7. Commit A Crime
  8. Grinnin' In Your Face
  9. There Is Power In The Blues
  10. Backwater Blues
  11. Old Slave Master


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: June 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BIG DEAL RECORDS
  • ASIN: B000NVL4S8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong! I Am a Big Fan of James Blood Ulmer. I feel he has found his calling as a 21th century bluesman;but on this record ,which has a great concept and sound,I feel is a little overproduced;too much studio and not enough of that angular,Ornette Coleman sounding Blood Ulmer guitar(unlike his last disc "Birthright" which was brilliant!)Vernon Reid should have made the production a little more sparce sounding so more of that Blood Ulmer guitar would have come thru. That being said; the compositions on this CD are great and have an important message, I hope commerically, this CD is a success for Blood;because For my ears it's his most popular sounding,blues CD. Just wish it was a little more hardcore Blood Ulmer.
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Format: Audio CD
Alrighty then. I can understand that anyone who thinks BIRTHRIGHT is Ulmer's best, might be a bit overwhelmed by the drastic difference in production with this album...but if you own everything ELSE by JBU you might have a better perspective on just how atypical BIRTHRIGHT really is. Blood did this next 'cause he ain't bout to be pigeon-holed in a corner. Sink your teeth into his old song "Black Rock" and you might just get it. I'm sitting here listening to BAD BLOOD IN THE CITY through headphones and have NO COMPLAINTS. On tunes like "Katrina", "This Land Is Nobody's Land", "Grinnin' In Your Face" and "Backwater Blues"; there's plenty space around the man and I'm not hearing this onslaught of Reid's guitar others have complained about. And even on the tunes where they're both playing I can hear each guitar quite clearly. JB is also playing some bass here too folks. What seems to be missed is that Ulmer's not putting out material for 'the man', ESPECIALLY not on an album about all the stuff that went down with Katrina! I hear arrangements and production on songs like "Sad Days, Lonely Nights", "Commit A Crime" and "Old Slave Master" that sounds like a hurricane stirring up a swamp; but I thought that was the point. Yeah, Vernon Reid is tearin it up at the end of "Commit A Crime" and "Old Slave Master", but if you think he did that without the intention and blessing of Ulmer, you're out of your mind. Heck, I'm HAPPY to hear Ulmer and Reid play together in this context; and I'm betting that's what Ulmer thought too. This is a WONDERFUL follow-up to BIRTHRIGHT and fits my loose conception of who 'Captain Black' is just fine thank you.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a Huge Blood fan, and love all of his music, but this record is a slight let-down. It's in no part due to James Ulmer's performance, but rather Vernon Reid's presence.

James Ulmer's strength is his droning, moody A-tuned guitar with his strong and slightly-garged voice. If you've heard "Birthright" that's Ulmer at his best.

Vernon Reid should remember to leave his guitar at home when producing Ulmer. Reid's 1,000 note-a-minute style just walks all over Ulmer. He is no blues player in the style that Ulmer is. Ulmer can play ONE note and weave it into a feeling. Vernon Reid is always in a race with himself. Combine that with the loud, overly-full production, and James Ulmer is drowned out and lost in the mix. Underneath it all is a great performance by Ulmer. But trying to listen to it through all of that noise is annoying.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a big fan of Ulmer's harmolodic guitar style since the 70's. I hated his singing style, though. I just couldn't stand him singing. I was always of opinion that James should refrain from singing for the good of all his fans and himself.

I am also a longtime blues aficionado, since the 60's. That is another reason I couldn't stand Ulmer's singing the blues. He used to sound phoney and out-of-place.

That said, I have to admit, that this record is, undoubtedly, his best vocal record so far. You either play harmolodic guitar, or you sing the blues. There is no middle ground here (as it used to be in his previous "blues" recordings).

Overall, I am sad to see Ulmer's departure from the harmolodic guitar, but I am starting to appreciate his blues efforts.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great record, very good quality!
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