Liner Note Author: Ady Croasdell.
Photographer: Gianni Ferrari.
The subtitle of Ace's fifth installment of New Breed R&B underscores the aesthetic behind their New Breed series: these collections focus on blues and hard R&B acts who cut singles infused by a distinctly grooving soul sensibility. Most of the 24 tracks featured on Blues with a Rhythm date from the '60s but there are a couple of cuts from the '50s -- Richard Berry's "Big John" is from 1955, the same year as Little Walter's "My Babe," which also reworked "This Train (Is Bound for Glory)" -- and everything is united by a deep, slinky groove. Even when the singers growl or the guitars crank out a 12-bar shuffle, this music feels like it was designed for dancefloors. The fact that some of this sensibility is no doubt accidental actually makes this more fun: it feels like this whole scene was tapped into a vibe so powerful that it could not be denied, it could only be expressed. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine