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SILAS HOGAN

SO LONG BLUES

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Ace (CDCHD523)

I'm Gonna Quit You Pretty Baby, Trouble At Home Blues, You're Too Late Baby, Airport Blues, Go On Pretty Baby, Here They Come Again, Lonesome La La, Roamin' Woman Blues, I'm Goin' In The Valley, Everybody Needs Somebody, Just Give Me A Chance, Dark Clouds Rollin' Early One Morning, I'm In Love With You Baby, More Trouble At Home, Sittin' Here Wonderin' So Glad, Every Saturday Night, Baby Please Come Back To Me, If Ever I Needed You, Out And Down Blues, So Long Blues.

Silas Hogan had been playing acoustic country blues locally for years around Scotlandville near Baton Rouge until Slim Harpo found him and introduced him to JD Miller's studio in Crowley where, having passed his audition on electric guitar, he began structuring tough, no compromise Southern blues for the Excello label.

Although he was very familiar with the music of Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters and especially liked to use some of Reed's ideas on many of his upbeat numbers, he constructed his own songs using simple heavy blues beats with lots of angular guitar riffs and floating harmonica licks layered under some pretty inventive lyrics. Songs like Roamin' Woman Blues, Here They Are Again and Trouble At Home are seriously dark examples of truly deep swamp blues that have despair and pain oozing out of lyrics accentuated by Hogan's echo-filled vocals.

He wasn't just a hard-bitten despair-monger though, he could get them on their feet and tear up the juke joint with rockin' numbers like Sittin Here A Wondering with its Slim Harpo buzz and Just Give Me A Chance, I'm In Love With You Baby and Dark Clouds Rolling - all of which have the distinct Jimmy Reed quality.

The songs on this CD are a great mixture of both styles - every track is a testament to Silas Hogan's immense talent.  Although he never made it as big as Slim Harpo and the other Crowley blues men, he earned the respect of his peers and attracted hardcore blues fans wherever he appeared. Ace released this CD in 1994 and it has been such an important part of my collection, I felt I just had to bring everyone's attention to it again. And when you play it, you'll understand why.

 

Review Date: July 2010

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