On Buddy Guy's second Silvertone release, he continues the practice of guest appearances begun on Damn Right, I've Got the Blues. In this case, the notables include Paul Rodgers, Travis Tritt, and John Mayall. The finest combination comes when Bonnie Raitt joins Guy on John Hiatt's "Feels Like Rain." Raitt's gritty vocals and sweet slide guitar add a pleasing nuance to the bittersweet track, and it is ultimately the high point of the record. Certain critics and blues purists have derided Guy's search for mainstream success as evidenced by his penchant for guest appearances and non-traditional blues forms, but Guy sounds fantastic in these unconventional situations (witness his burning version of the Moody Blues' "I Go Crazy"). Guy's vocals, often under appreciated, really sell this song. As for his guitar playing, it is slightly below his usually high standards.
Fire Wind is the second album released by Electric Sun. Electric Sun was a heavy metal formed by Uli Jon Roth after his departure from the Scorpions in 1978. They recorded three albums between 1979 and 1985. The first album, Earthquake, was released in 1979 and features guitarist/vocalist Roth, bassist Ule Ritgen and drummer Clive Edwards. Edwards departed quickly after recording the first album. Fire Wind came next in 1981, featuring new drummer Sidhatta Gautama. The band toured for a few years afterwards. While the first two albums were a trio format, the third album was more of an ensemble project.
There's very little doubt that the Gipsy Kings are good at what they do–they've become the brand name in Sevillana, the pop-oriented flamenco style. Since 1989, when the single "Bamboleo" and their Gipsy Kings album broke through and went gold in the United States, they've found a willing audience in America for their style, which, while flashy, doesn't demand a great deal of the listener, unlike more hardcore versions of flamenco. This double set collects 38 of their biggest tracks, including a version of the Eagles' "Hotel California," into one package guaranteed to satisfy fans of their precise, jubilant playing. And there's no denying they have the power to move people with their singing and fretwork, making this a must for those who want to experience all the familiar material in one sitting. Like the band themselves, the record is an unqualified success as a greatest hits package.
Originally released in 1973 on Encounter Records, Profile's Sands of Time was produced by Bernard Purdie (a living, walking definition of soul-jazz drumming), and the album bears his signature sound. With Don Sands on organ, Dave Barron on guitar, Seldon Powell on tenor sax, Garnett Brown on trombone, Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Paul Martinez on bass, and Purdie and Butchman Bateman sharing the drum kit, with help from percussionist Norman Pride, the album catches an easy, gently funky shuffle tone from the opening track, Barron's "99 Baseball," and then never lets go. Instrumental versions of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Isaac Hayes' "Shaft," and Jimmy Webb's (via Isaac Hayes) "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" all fall into a delightful rainy-day groove, making Sands of Time somewhat of a lost classic.