Liner Note Author: John Swenson.
The This Is the Blues series from Eagle Records (there are four volumes thus far, of which this is the third) features players from the late-'60s/early-'70s golden age of classic British blues-rock covering, for the most part, songs by Willie Dixon and John Lee Hooker, all drawn from a series of tribute albums originally produced by Peter Brown. The fact that everything on these volumes was overseen by the same producer means that there's an unusual unity of sound throughout the series, and listening to these collections feels a bit like listening to concert recordings at some super all-star British blues festival. The lineup is impressive, including the likes of Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce, former members of Foghat (Lonesome Dave Peverett, Rod Price), and Peter Green, who has several of his own songs also covered in the series. It's a compelling set, but it's really more blues-rock than blues (think Cream rather than Muddy Waters), which doesn't give these volumes lesser appeal, but serious blues listeners might find it all a bit too much. If you like Foghat, Cream, Jethro Tull, early Fleetwood Mac, or the Yardbirds, though, these volumes are going to feel like listening to a delightful reunion concert. ~ Steve Leggett