I aint lyin

By Matthew MacDonald
July 2015

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I Ain’t Lyin’… is Charlie Musselwhite’s second live album in a row, following 2012’s Juke Joint Chapel. It’s made up of 10 tunes (eight originals) and eleven tracks taken from California’s Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival and from the Clarksdale Soundstage in Mississippi. As with Juke Joint Chapel, it mixes re-workings of some of his older material in with new compositions. As one might expect on this kind of album, there are twelve bar blues and slow blues and shuffles in there but, as is Charlie’s style, he’ll find ways to change things up. “Good Blues Tonight” starts and finishes the album in its edited and unedited versions. It’s a twelve bar blues played as a rumba, with June Core drumming out a sliding beat and Matt Stubbs contributing different solos on both to help make it what a rumba should be: very danceable.

Listening to the redone versions next to the older ones is interesting. On “If I Should Have Bad Luck”, a piano heavy entry from In My Time, Musselwhite now fills that space (his current touring band has no piano) with his harp, playing developing variations on a circular, scale-like run to give his long solo – and the song – its stamp. They’re the same tune but it’s like they’ve become two different ones… and that there is a big reason why this live CD is worth having.

Recorded in late 2014 with his current band, it also gives an excellent taste of how everyone is sounding these days. As when seeing any show live, the audio quality isn’t like that of a studio album, but it all comes through consistently loud and clear and, as listeners have become accustomed to at a Charlie Musselwhite show, the music stays razor sharp throughout.

http://www.charliemusselwhite.com/juke-joint-chapel

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