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Blues Masters at the Crossroads. Produced by Acoustic Sounds, a global audience returns year-after-year to worship the blues at Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas. For the first time we're presenting six sets recorded live in 2014 at Blues Masters at the Crossroads Oct. 17-18.
The three sets presented here demonstrate the range of musical talent showcased at Blues Masters at the Crossroads. Gentleman Joe Beard has logged a lot of miles from Mississippi to Rochester, New York, and all over the world. Beard used to woodshed with his neighbor, Son House, in Rochester.
Joined by Lazy Lester — a blues legend who comes from the Southwest, loping, Louisiana tradition — the two instantly connect. Lester is renowned for his harp work but he loves to play acoustic guitar and it comes out before he leaves the stage. Finally, Sonny Green represents yet another world of roots music. He sang his way from his native, Monroe, Louisiana, to Los Angeles where he keeps deep, old-school soul alive.
Beard has been around the Blues Masters gig before and he's been hanging out with Marquise Knox and Lester in the dining room for hours. Knox and Lester play music while Beard sits quietly — occasionally smiling at what the two men are putting down. On stage, Beard's set — first alone with just his guitar and his voice — is powerful. His long fingers work the strings and he sings gently into the microphone — finding his way through each song. "New York Woman" is his own and he soon owns Jimmy Reed's "Where Can You Be?" as well, joined by Lester.
For the last three songs, Lester takes over alone on stage with an acoustic guitar. He offers up "Ya Ya," a favorite for anyone who has caught a set in the past.
Sonny Green's appearance at the church is his first. His wife and daughter are along and sitting in the front row. The band, led by Loui Villery, is spectacular. This band backed the late Bobbby Bland for years; Green's set is dedicated to Bland — songs the master made famous. Though he hasn't worked with the band except for their sound check, the set is flawless.
|2. New York Woman|
|3. Where Can You Be|
|4. No More Cherry Rose|
|5. You're Something Else|
|6. Nothing But The Devil|
|7. My Home Is A Prison|
|10. Instrumental Introduction|
|11. Sonny Green Spoken Intro|
|12. That's The Way Love Is|
|13. Stormy Monday|
|14. St. James Infirmary|
|15. I'll Take Care Of You|
|16. Further On Up The Road|
|17. Ain't That Loving You|
|18. Down Home Blues|