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Love Me Mama (1969) - Delmark
Bad News Is Coming (1972) - Motown/Gordy
Luther's Blues (1974) - Motown/Gordy
Night Life (1976) - Motown/Gordy
Love Me Papa (1977) - Black & Blue
Live In Paris (1979) - Paris Album/Buda
Live (Part 2) (1979) - Blue Sky/Buda
Gonna Be A Live One In Here Tonight (1979) - Rumble
Power Wire Blues (Part 2) (1979) - Rumble
Time (1980) - Paris Album/Buda
Life Is A Bitch (1984) - Encore!/Melodie (released in U.S. on Blind Pig as Serious in 1987)
Here I Come (1985) - Encore!/Melodie
Rich Man (1987) - Ruf
Let's Try It Again (1989) - Ruf
More From Berlin (1989) - Ruf
Hand Me Down My Moonshine (1992) - InAk/Ruf
Soul Fixin' Man (1994) - Alligator (released in Europe on Ruf as Bad Love)
Blue Streak (1995) - Alligator/Ruf
The Motown Years (1996) - Motown (Universal)
Live in Montreux - Where Have You Been? (1996) - Ruf
Reckless (1997) - Alligator/Ruf
Live In Chicago (1999) - Alligator/Ruf
Live in Paradise (2001)(DVD)
Pay It Forward - Luther Allison & Friends (2002)

More Information

Love Me Mama (1969) - Delmark

1.) Why I Love the Blues
2.) Little Red Rooster
3.) 4:00 in the Morning (Waiting on You)
4.) You Done Lost Your Good Thing [Alternate Take][#]
5.) Five Long Years
6.) Dust My Broom
7.) Every Night About This Time [#]
8.) Love Me Mama
9.) Sky Is Crying
10.) Help Me
11.) You Done Lost You Good Thing Now
12.) Bloomington Closer [#]
13.) Little Red Rooster [Alternate Take][#]
14.) Walking from Door to Door [#]

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Bad News Is Coming (1972) - Motown/Gordy

1.) Little Red Rooster
2.) Evil Is Going On
3.) Raggedy and Dirty
4.) Rock Me Baby
5.) Bad News Is Coming
6.) Cut You A-Loose
7.) Dust My Broom
8.) Stumble [*]
9.) Sweet Home Chicago [*]
10.) It's Been a Long Time [*]
11.) Take My Love [I Want to Give It All to You] [*]

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Luther's Blues (1974) - Motown/Gordy

1.) Luther's Blues
2.) Someday Pretty Baby
3.) Easy Baby
4.) Part Time Love
5.) Now You Got It
6.) K.T.
7.) Let's Have A Little Talk
8.) Driving Wheel
9.) Into My Life
10.) San-Ho-Zay
11.) Bloomington Closing
12.) Medley: I'm Gonna Miss My... / Bad News... / The Thrill Is...

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Night Life (1976) - Motown/Gordy

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Love Me Papa (1977) - Black & Blue

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Live In Paris (1979) - Paris Album/Buda

1.) Crazy jealous
2.) My babe
3.) Thrill is gone
4.) Early in the morning
5.) Tribute to hound dog
6.) Luther's shuffle
7.) I can't quit you babe
8.) I'm leavin'
9.) Rock me baby
10.) Little red rooster

Recorded live in Paris, at La Chapelle des Lombards, 1979

Luther Allison: Lead Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
James Solberg: Rhythm Guitar
Sid Wingfield: Piano
Kenny Berdoll: Bass
Danny Schmidt: Drums

Release Notes (CD Re-Release):
After his first celebrated appearance in Europe on the Montreux Jazz Festival, Luther started touring Europe constantly, before he settled down in Paris. During his tour in 1979 a sold-out-show in Paris was recorded, and released on 2 LPs (Blue Silver/Pläne) as “Live In Paris” and “Live”.
“Live In Paris” documents his first great success on Vinyl in Europe: over 50.000 copies were sold as Luther enjoyed a reputation as a outstanding live - performer. (This CD includes both LPs !).
In the late 70s James Solberg, who had a substantial contribute to Luther’s success in Europe and his comeback in the US, already accompanied him on rhythm guitar (and co - songwriter).
„In 1979 the blues took the features of a face, that of Luther Allison. The primary value of this recording, his first live album, is to make one feel Luther Allison’s musical abilities, as well as the intensity and generosity of his live performances. You can also find the memories of the privileged moments - maybe a few seconds when you feel, when you know, that Luther shuts his eyes and opens his soul... At that moment, his guitar no longer speaks to you, it cries … and it’s tears are blue.”
-- Jean Cabot, Rock and Folk

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Live (Part 2) (1979) - Blue Sky/Buda

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Gonna Be A Live One In Here Tonight (1979) - Rumble

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Power Wire Blues (Part 2) (1979) - Rumble

1.) Dust My Broom
2.) I Got Worries
3.) You Don't Love Me
4.) Going Down
5.) I'm Gonna Leave You Alone
6.) Sweet Home Chicago

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Time (1980) - Paris Album/Buda

1.) Time
2.) Give It All
3.) Down South
4.) I Can't Tell You What to Do
5.) Compromizing for Your Needs
6.) It's Partyin' Time
7.) You're Doing a Super Homework
8.) Just My Guitar (And Me)

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Life Is A Bitch (1984) - Encore!/Melodie (released in U.S. on Blind Pig as Serious in 1987)

1.) Backtrack
2.) Life Is a Bitch
3.) Reaching Out
4.) Parking Lot
5.) Serious
6.) Just Memories
7.) Should I Wait
8.) Show Me a Reason
9.) Let's Try Again
10.) We're On the Road

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Here I Come (1985) - Encore!/Melodie

1.) Here I come
2.) Vision
3.) Midnight creeper
4.) Too many women
5.) I just can't turn you a-loose
6.) A change must come
7.) Guitar slingin'
8.) An old sweet song
9.) You're my woman
10.) I think I need some help
11.) Glass trap
12.) Overseas boogie

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Rich Man (1987) - Ruf

1.) Chicago
2.) Rich Man
3.) Love Is Free
4.) Cold As Ice
5.) Freedom
6.) Fight
7.) Mistake
8.) Get Down
9.) Cry

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Let's Try It Again (1989) - Ruf

1.) Serious
2.) Backtrack
3.) Let's Try It Again
4.) Freedom
5.) Life Is A Bitch
6.) Just Memories
7.) Fight
8.) Bad News Is Coming
9.) Just My Guitar (And Me)
10.) Now You Got It
11.) Let's Have A Little Talk
12.) The Dock Of The Bay

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More From Berlin (1989) - Ruf

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Hand Me Down My Moonshine (1992) - InAk/Ruf

1.) Good Morning Love
2.) One More
3.) Lightning Bolt
4.) I Need a Friend
5.) Castle
6.) She's Fine
7.) Stay With Me
8.) Farmers Child
9.) Don't Burn My Bread
10.) You're the One
11.) Hand Me Down My Moonshine
12.) Meet Me in My Own Hometown

Release Notes:
This release is LUTHER ALLISON’S first acoustic endeavour, and was recorded at LUTHER’S Paris residence. Ruf Records has added another facet to the rich legacy of ALLISON with these tunes. These intimate acoustic encounters with Luther, his guitar and occasional friends are rarities in the body of his work and performances.
LUTHER’S vibrant acoustic stylings and his down-home, unamplified vocals make this affair a pleasurable listen. Accompanying LUTHER on all but one tune is his touring bassist, Zox on acoustic bass. Euro-guitarist Patrick Verbeke helps out on two tunes with contributions on steel and 12-string guitars. LUTHER’S son, BERNARD ALLISON provides the slide guitar action and background vocals on the final cut. Thierry Menesclou gives up the harmonica chops on the same tune.
LUTHER’S guitar virtuosity, along with his familiarity and association with his music makes this effort another feather in his hat. The feel of this music is restful, and yet playfully exchanging. It will seem as if you are sitting in LUTHER’S living room and listening to this. The DAT recordings are pure and crisp with little sound distortion.
Of the twelve tunes on this release, LUTHER’S pen stroked off ten of them. He also produced the biscuit. LUTHER ALLISON was always an intimate performer; one who engaged his audience and took them on a musical excursion. This disc is not any different! LUTHER is still here to give us some choice encounters with the blues. These acoustic sessions are only a sweet topping on his already multi-layered cake! -- Mark A. Cole

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Soul Fixin' Man (1994) - Alligator (released in Europe on Ruf as Bad Love)

1.) Bad Love (Allison & Solberg) (6:23)
2.) I Want To Know (De Santo, Geddins & Badger, B Flat Music, BMI) (4:52)
3.) Soul Fixin' Man (Allison & Solberg) (3:07)
4.) Middle Of The Road (Allison) (4:55)
5.) She Was Born That Way (Mosley & Johnson, Malaco Music/Sabo Music, BMI) (4:38)
6.) Gave It All (Allison) (3:56)
7.) You Been Teasin' Me (Allison & Solberg) (3:01)
8.) Nobody But You (Solberg, Solberg & Allison) (4:30)
9.) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (Allison & Solberg) (6:28)
10.) The Things I Used To Do (Jones, Blackwood Music, BMI) (3:18)
11.) Love String (Mosley & Johnson, Malaco Music/Sabo Music, BMI) (3:53)
12.) Freedom (Allison, Brown, Carras, Rabaste & Zox) (4:47)

All songs Eyeball Music, BMI, except as noted
Luther Allison, Guitar and Vocals
James Solberg, Guitars
Ernest Williamson, Keyboards
Dave Smith, Bass
James Robinson, Drums
WITH The Memphis Horns:
Wayne Jackson, Trumpet and Trombone
Andrew Love, Sax
Jacquelyn Reddick and Jacqueline Johnson, Background Vocals
Kpe Lee, African Rhythm Instruments on Freedom
Another Blessed Creation Choir:
Directed by Darrell Lee Bonner,
Voices on Freedom
Produced by Jim Gaines
Arranged by Luther Allison and James Solberg
Recorded at Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN
Engineered by Niko Lyras and Jeff Powell
Assisted by Erik Flettrich and Jeffrey Reed
Mixed by Jim Gaines and John Hampton
Executive Producer: Thomas Ruf
Photos by Patrice Battioni
Cover concept by Elke Post, Design by Matt Minde
Special thanks to Bernard Allison, Peter Giron, Michel Carras, Sulaiman Hakim, Stephane Guillaume, Dom Doucet, Davyd Johnson, Gerald Draper, Susan Allred, Brad Webb, Barb Bogdanowicz, Joanna Connor, City of Memphis, Ardent Studios and GaryLevinson/Blade Guitars.

Original Liner Notes
Chicago's West Side, where he emerged from the same mean streets that produced fellow guitar legends Magic Sam, Freddie King and Otis Rush. Living in Paris for the last 10 years, he has thrilled the Continent's discriminating blues audiences with his razor-sharp guitar work, emotionally-charged vocals and galvanizing live performances at countless major blues and jazz festivals, concert halls and nightclubs. His recordings for a variety of European record labels have drawn raves from critics. In his native U.S., though, it's a slightly different story. Luther's scene-stealing star turns at such major music festivals as the first three Ann Arbor Blues Festivals in 1969, 1970 and 1972, transformed him from a relative unknown to a major blues-rock attraction virtually overnight. Renowned in the '70s for his high-energy live shows and marathon-length performances -- not to mention his penchant for wearing rock 'n' roll-style headbands and leather -- Luther appeared destined to become the blues' Next Big Thing. As the New York Times put it, Luther's pungent guitar "cuts into the depth of your soul."
Unfortunately, audiences can have short memories, and during his extended absences from his native country a long string of other Next Big Things have come and gone.
With his first album recorded in the U.S. in nearly 20 years, Soul Fixin' Man, Luther serves notice that he intends to reclaim his rightful place in the hearts of American blues fans.
Recorded in Memphis with producer Jim Gaines, whose credits include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins, and featuring some brassy assistance from the Memphis Horns, the album is classic Allison from start to finish.
"This is the album that I always wanted to make," says Luther. "We had the right amount of time, the right producer, the right musicians and the right atmosphere in the studio. I hope it will open up the eyes and ears of people who know my music but may not have heard me in a while."
Ranging stylistically from classic Chicago blues to deep Memphis soul, contemporary blues-rock, world beat and gutbucket blues, it's all pure Luther Allison. And regardless of the style, it's his blistering guitar work -- still redolent of the West Side after all these years -- that remains his musical signature.
Born in Mayflower, Arkansas in 1939 as the fourteenth of fifteen children, Luther moved with his family to Chicago's South Side when he was 13. Initially learning the shoemaking and repairing trade -- the inspiration for the title song -- he soon found music to be a more alluring vocation. Moving to the city's West Side when he was 17 and influenced by his guitar-playing brother Ollie, Luther bought an acoustic guitar, pickup and amplifier at a neighborhood pawn shop.
While most of his contemporaries were digging R&B groups like The Platters and Moonglows, Luther was sneaking into area nightspots to soak up the swaggering electric blues sounds of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. Eventually Luther began sitting in with people like Magic Sam, Mighty Joe Young, Elmore James and Sunnyland Slim and formed his first band in 1957. Along the way Luther became good friends with several of the West Side guitar kingpins.
"Freddie King, Magic Sam, Hubert Sumlin and I used to hang out at backyard barbecues together on the West Side," Luther recalls. "We'd get out our guitars and play together. We'd show each other little riffs and grooves, so we could all play together at the same time and not get in each other's way."
King, in fact, bequeathed his band and his regular gig at the famed Walton's Corner on the West Side to Luther, who kept the gig -- and the band -- from 1959 to 1964. Luther made his first appearance on record on Delmark Records' influential 1967 anthology, Sweet Home Chicago. Two years later Delmark released his first full-fledged album, Love Me Mama , to widespread critical acclaim.
That album launched Luther as a major blues star, one who supercharged his traditional Chicago blues roots with a rock-influenced energy to create a cutting-edge style that electrified college audiences and rock fans in particular. His knockout first appearance at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival received widespread press notice, as did later gigs at the Berkeley Jazz Festival and Philadelphia Folk Festival. Signed as Motown Records' first blues artist, he released a trio of soul-blues albums in the'70s that further increased his reputation.
At the same time he became in great demand in Europe, headlining festivals in Holland, France, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany and recording for a variety of European labels in the '70s and '80s. Eventually Luther moved his base of operations to Paris, from where he continues to tour the Continent nonstop.
But what of the States? Luther freely admits that his move to Europe virtually halted his career momentum back home. With his strongest musical statement yet in Soul Fixin' Man and an increased touring presence in the U.S., he vows to re-establish himself on the homefront.
"I want people to know that I'm the same Luther Allison that I was when I left for Paris -- only better," says Luther. "I have the same musical menu: I'm just looking for some more people who will let me cook up my blues and serve it to them."
-- Dan Kening
Dan Kening is a Chicago-based writer who regularly writes about music for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine. His articles have also appeared in Rolling Stone, Down Beat and Guitar World.

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Blue Streak (1995) - Alligator/Ruf

1.) All The King's Horses* (Allison & Solberg) (5:36)
2.) What Have I Done Wrong?* (Maghett) (4:48)
3.) Big City* (Allison & Solberg) (5:24)
4.) Move From The 'Hood* (Allison & Solberg) (3:41)
5.) What's Going On In My Home?* (Allison & Solberg) (4:06)
6.) I Believe In You* (Allison & Solberg) (4:36)
7.) Cherry Red Wine# (Allison) (4:21)
8.) Walking Papers# (Allison & Solberg) (4:28)
9.) Think With Your Heart* (Allison & Solberg) (4:57)
10.) You Don't Know* (Allison & Solberg) (2:47)
11.) Should I Wait?* (Allison) (5:04)
12.) Midnight Creeper* (Allison) (3:37)

All songs Bad Love Music administered by Eyeball Music, BMI except Should I Wait? and Midnight Creeper, Eyeball Music, BMI and What Have I Done Wrong?, Publisher Unknown.
*Luther Allison, Guitar and Vocals
James Solberg, Guitar
*Ernest Williamson, Keyboards
*Dave Smith, Bass
*Steve Potts, Drums
#Mike Vlahakis, Keyboards
#Ken Faltinson, Bass
#Robb Stupka, Drums
On Midnight Creeper, You Don't Know, What's Going On In My Home? and Think With Your Heart The Memphis Horns :
Wayne Jackson, Trumpet and Trombone
Andrew Love, Tenor Sax
On Midnight Creeper
Jacqueline Johnson & Jacquelyn Reddick, Background Vocals
On Should I Wait?
Bruce McCabe, Piano
On Walking Papers
Charlie Bingham, Rhythm Guitar
James Solberg appears courtesy of Atomic Theory Records. Bruce McCabe and Charlie Bingham appear courtesy of The Hoopsnakes and Mouthpiece Records.
*Produced by Jim Gaines
Recorded at 315 Beale Studios, Memphis, TN
Recorded by Jim Gaines and Mike Iacopelli
assisted by Jason Latshaw
Mixed at Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN by John Hampton assisted by Jeffrey Reid and at 315 Beale Studios by Jim Gaines and Mike Iacopelli
#Produced by Luther Allison and James Solberg
Recorded at 10 Maple Street Studio, Eau Claire, WI
Recorded by Bob Ozowski
Mixed at 315 Beale Studios, Memphis, TN, by Jim Gaines
Cover photos by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve
Live performance photo by Steve Cooke
Inside booklet photo by Marc Norberg
Cover design by Matt Minde and D. Dominick Forte
Mastered by Jay O'Rourke at Monster Disc, Chicago, IL
Licensed from Ruf Records, Germany
Executive Producers:
Thomas Ruf and Rocky Brown
Special thanks to: Gary Levinson of Blade Guitars; Gibson Strings (Mark Shenkel, Nashville Office Manager and Tim Bolen, Consultant); Skip McQuinn and everyone at 315 Beale Studios; Miki Mulvehill; Bob Ozowski and Bernard Allison.

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The Motown Years (1996) Motown (Universal)

1.) Little Red Rooster
2.) Raggedy And Dirty
3.) Cut You A-Loose
4.) Dust My Broom
5.) Luther's Blues
6.) Someday Pretty Baby
7.) Easy Baby
8.) Part Time Love
9.) Now You Got It
10.) K.T.
11.) Let's Have A Little Talk
12.) Drivin' Wheel
13.) Into My Life
14.) I Can Make It Thru The Day (But Oh Those Lonely Nights)
15.) That's What Love Will Make You Do
16.) Night Life
17.) Last Night I Lost The Best Friend I Ever Had

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Live in Montreux - Where Have You Been? (1996)

1.) Introduction
2.) Gamblers Blues
3.) Sweet Home Chicago
4.) Same Thing
5.) Little Red Rooster
6.) Sky Is Crying
7.) Back Down South
8.) Memories
9.) Spontaneous Improvisation
10.) Bad News Is Coming
11.) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
12.) Bad Love
13.) Audience

Release Notes:
'Where have you been, LUTHER?
This live CD set is a definite answer to the questions often asked by fans and journalists during LUTHER'S triumphal 'comeback' tours through the U.S. in 1995 and 1996 (LUTHER ALLISON enjoyed a five-award triumph at the 17th annual W.C. Handy Awards, the blues world's equivalent of the Grammys: Best Blues Song -'Watching You', Best Blues Album - 'Blue Streak', Best Male Blues Artist, Best Guitarist, Best Entertainer).
'Where have you been, LUTHER?'
The answer is:
'Europe' and definitely 'working hard!'
LUTHER started working in Europe in 1976, the year Motown released his third album for the Gordy label, 'Night Life'. The very first tour began with a furious performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland, six tracks of which are featured on this CD set.
In 1983, LUTHER made Paris, France his home base. He quickly attained the status of a major drawing blues act on the live circuit in Europe. Subsequently, U.S. audiences (re) discovered him as one of the greatest blues talents performing today.
Because the Montreux Jazz Festival has always been a special event for LUTHER, this CD reflects the development of his band sound over the years.
On the '76 and '83 sets, LUTHER used his U.S. touring band; the '84 set features the legendary Muscle Shoals Rythm Section - a special event co-produced by Jerry Wexler. In accordance with the concept of Montreux and because he's one of Montreux's favourite performers, LUTHER was repeatedly invited to jam with B.B. King ('89), John Mayall ('86) and Otis Rush ('86). The '94 set features a Memphis set-up including the Memphis Horns, paying tribute to the roots of R&B and soul music.
The 1994 release of 'Bad Love' (in Europe on RUF) 'Soul Fixin'Man' (U.S. version on Alligator) marked the start of LUTHER'S U.S. 'comeback'. It was his first studio album recorded in the U.S. since his Motown album of '76, but certainly not his only recording; a look at his discography shows that LUTHER was successfully working hard in Europe.
All of us who have had the pleasure of enjoying LUTHER'S performances in Europe throughout the years, the folks in the U.S. who know him from 'way back then', and all the new fans from all around the world whole heartedly agree:
Ride on, LUTHER !

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Reckless (1997) - Alligator/Ruf

1.) Low Down And Dirty (B. Allison) (3:45)
2.) You Can Run But You Can't Hide (Butterfield & Glover) (3:32)
3.) Living In The House Of The Blues (Williams) (5:32)
4.) You Can, You Can (Allison & Solberg) (3:42)
5.) Will It Ever Change? (Allison & Solberg) (5:09)
6.) Just As I Am (Carroll, Solberg & Allison) (4:55)
7.) There Comes A Time (Allison & Solberg) (4:12)
8.) Drowning At The Bottom (Allison & Solberg) (3:54)
9.) Playin' A Losin' Game (L. Allison & B. Allison) (5:30)
10.) It's A Blues Thing (Carroll, Solberg & Allison) (5:40)
11.) Cancel My Check (Allison & Solberg) (4:19)
12.) Pain In The Streets (Allison & Solberg) (4:43)
13.) You're Gonna Make Me Cry (Malone) (6:13)
14.) I'm Back (Allison & Solberg) (4:12)

Produced by Jim Gaines
Recording Engineer: Jeff Powell
Assistant Engineer: Jason Latshaw
Mixing: Jim Gaines and Rusty McFarland assisted by Jason Latshaw
Recorded and Mixed at 315 Beale Studios, Memphis, TN except Playin' A Losin' Game recorded at Woodstock Studio, Paris, France
Mastering: Mike Iacopelli at Cry Rock, Memphis, TN
Additional Mastering: Jason Rau and Bruce Iglauer at Monster Disc, Chicago, IL
Photographs: Philippe Pierangeli
Design: Karen Norberg
Additional Design: Matt Minde

Gibson Custom Shop; Dean Markley Strings; Sandy Carroll; Jason Latshaw; Everyone at 315 Beale Studio; Bruce Iglauer; Thomas Ruf; Miki Mulvehill; The Rosebud Agency; The Blues Foundation; Blues Societies; Blues fans all over the world!

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Live In Chicago (1999) - Alligator/Ruf

1.) Intro Tom Marker Of WXRT-FM, Chicago (:23)
2.) Soul Fixin' Man (Allison & Solberg) (4:03)
3.) Cherry Red Wine (Allison) (8:36)
4.) Move From The Hood (Allison & Solberg) (4:48)
5.) Bad Love 10:16 A (Allison & Solberg) (10:16)
6.) Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (Allison & Solberg) (6:00)
7.) Big City (Allison & Solberg) (9:07)
8.) Give Me Back My Wig (Taylor, Eyeball Music, Bmi) (5:22)
9.) It Hurts Me Too (Whittaker, Mca Music, Bmi) (7:40)
10.) Medley: Gambler's Blues/Sweet Little Angel (King & Pate, Careers Bmg Publ./Mca Music Corp./Yvonne Publ. Co, Bmi And Bogan, Munka Music, Bmi) (10:25)
11.) Party Time (Allison) (5:20)
12.) All The King's Horses (Allison & Solberg) (12:19)
13.) What Have I Done Wrong? (Maghett, Publisher Unknown) (7:10)
14.) Walking Papers (Allison & Solberg) (6:48)
15.) Think With Your Heart (Allison & Solberg) (6:27)
16.) What's Going On In My Home? (Allison & Solberg) (7:13)
17.) Will It Ever Change? (Allison & Solberg) (5:48)
18.) You're Gonna Make Me Cry (Malone, Duchess Music, Bmi (8:26)
19.) Everything's Gonna Be All Right (Jacobs, Arc Music, Bmi) (5:30)

Luther Allison, Lead Guitar and Vocals
James Solberg, Rhythm and Lead Guitar (left side)
Mike Vlahakis, Keyboards
Ken Faltinson, Bass
Robb Stupka, Drums A
J. Mattes, Drums B
Willie Hayes, Drums C
With the Memphis Horns:
Wayne Jackson, Trumpet A
Andrew Love, Tenor Sax A

On Medley:
Otis Rush, Lead Guitar and Vocals (center)
Luther Allison, Lead Guitar and Vocals (right)
Eddie C. Campbell, Lead Guitar (left)
John Kattke, Rhythm Guitar
Dave Rice, Keyboards
ken anderson Trumpet
Bobby Neely, Tenor Sax
Willie Henderson, Baritone Sax
Leonard Gill, Bass
Ray Stewart, Drums
A and D recorded at the Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago, IL, June 3, 1995, by Timothy Powell for Metro Mobile Recording,assisted by Dan Glomski. Originally broadcast on WBEZ-FM, Chicago, IL.

B Recorded at Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago, IL, November 4, 1995, by Mark Schwarz for Metro Mobile Recording, assisted by Peter Richter.
Parts of this performance were originally broadcast on WXRT-FM, Chicago, IL.
C Recorded at the Zoo Bar, Lincoln, NE, May 7, 1997, by Phil Hammer for Nebraska ETV Network.
Produced by Jim Gaines, Rocky Brown, Thomas Ruf and Bruce Iglauer, Executive Producers Mixed by Nikos Lyros at Cotton Row Studios, Memphis, TN; Mastered by Mike Iacopelli at Cry Rock Mastering, Memphis TN.
Cover, Back & Inner Tray photos by Steve Cooke
Packaging design by Matthias Minde
Released by Alligator Records in North and South America, Japan and Southeast Asia and by Ruf Records in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Otis Rush appears courtesy of House Of Blues Records/Platinum Entertainment

Original Liner Notes
LUTHER ALLISON had a lot to prove when he climbed on stage at the 1995 Chicago Blues Festival. But that's nothing new. Blues musicians have always had to prove it all night, every night. Careers are still made or broken on sweaty, beer-soaked stages in front of a few hundred people at a time. But every once in a great while, a blues musician is presented with a rare opportunity to radically expand that scope the chance to reach hundreds of thousands of listeners in a single swoop. Such was the case for Allison on June 3, 1995.
Over the previous 12 years, since his move to Paris, Luther had made himself into a European star. The price he paid was giving up a career in his homeland, a career which exploded in the late '60s and flourished in the '70s, but never reached the heights predicted by many. The Blues Fest presented a golden chance to help him reestablish himself on these shores. A year prior, he had released Soul Fixin' Man, his first American album in seven years, then pounded the clubs, spreading the word that he was back home and better than ever. Though he had yet to reach the crossover rock audience which awaited him, his name was again becoming revered by blues fanatics, and he was rapidly winning converts the old-fashioned way with phenomenal three and four-hour shows that were emotionally gripping feats of physical endurance.
"I put out until they pull the plug," he told me just six months or so before his 1997 death from cancer. "First, I love every minute of it. And, second, I am on a mission to regain my name at home." Allison's success was highlighted by the dozen W.C. Handy Blues Awards he received over the last three years of his life, including the coveted Blues Entertainer of the Year in 1997 and again, posthumously, in '98. It was a remarkable run, and it was only gaining strength when Allison was stricken while touring in support of the Grammy-nominated Reckless, his third excellent album in four years. In many ways, this last great chapter in Luther's life began with that '95 performance at the Chicago Blues Fest in front of some 150,000 people and thousands more listening on National Public Radio.
Remarkably, Luther had played a festival in Nantes, France, the night before and flew back to Paris, where he boarded a jet bound for Chicago. When he took the stage, his 55-year-old bones hadn't seen a bed in two nights, but you won't hear any signs of jetlag throughout the blistering 60-minute set captured on Disc One. With the rock-solid James Solberg Band kicking it behind him and the Memphis Horns adding their trademark punch to five songs, Luther ripped and snorted through a condensed version of his lengthy shows. The rousing set featured a wide range of material from both Soul Fixin' Man and its followup, Blue Streak, at the time recorded but not yet released.
As usual, the spotlight was on Luther's passionate intensity, which flowed through his slashing guitar work and gravelly, soulful vocals. It's revealing that in his big homecoming gig, Luther insisted on playing a set dominated by original tunes, many co-written with Solberg. The songs reveal a strong songwriting hand, thoughtfully tackling discrimination, inner-city decay and welfare reform along with more typical blues topics like heartbreak, longing and adultery. His second number was Blue Streak's Cherry Red Wine, a moving condemnation of a hard-drinking friend, which would soon become one of his most requested numbers.
That night, Luther was thrilled to be preceding his idol, Otis Rush, and overjoyed to revisit his roots by returning to the stage to join him for the Festival's final jam. Along with old compadre Eddie C. Campbell, they took on B.B. King's Gambler's Blues and Sweet Little Angel. Luther's guitar playing hailed from Rush's West Side school of Chicago playing; like Magic Sam, Freddie King and Jimmy Dawkins, he favored hard-driving, piercing single-note leads with a soul base and a rock tone. Unlike most of his West Side peers, he was also an excellent slide player, as displayed on Hound Dog Taylor's Give Me Back My Wig and Tampa Red via Elmore James' It Hurts Me Too.
Slide or straight, Luther's playing tended to be reckless in the best sense of the word, dancing on a razor's edge, remaining just this side of out-of-control. His singing was also a marvel rich, emotive and edgy. At times, he even came across as a guitar-toting Otis Redding, as on Disc Two's You're Gonna Make Me Cry. All of it was put across with a full-tilt intensity that reflected Luther's passion and his determination to prove himself as one of the all-time greats. From uptempo, party-down rockers to contemplative, longing blues and from bouncy, horn-driven soul tunes to organ-fueled, gospel-style ballads, he performed with the fiery energy of a teenager and the grizzled soul of a veteran.
Luther's life was dedicated to his music. Born in Widener, Arkansas, in 1939, the 14th of 15 children, Allison and his family moved to Chicago when he was 12, and he began soaking in the sounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Nighthawk. He didn't start playing guitar until he was 18 and was quickly jamming with the West Side's best, including Rush and Freddie King, who encouraged Allison to sing. "That," Allison liked to say, "was my school." When King began to tour nationally in the early '60s, Allison took over his band as well as his weekly gigs. Still, it was 1969 before he recorded his debut album, Love Me Mama, for Delmark Records, and began to tour nationally.
A barn-burning performance at the 1969 Ann Arbor Jazz and Blues Festival helped him make a name, and soon a dashiki-wearing, Afro-sporting Allison was a hippie favorite. His career was on the upswing in '72 when he signed with Motown Records as the label's only blues act, but three records for the Gordy subsidiary failed to launch him. Hard work and lots of touring began to bring Luther wide acceptance in Europe just as interest in the blues was fading at home, so in '83 he moved to Paris and began turning himself into a European star, releasing some dozen albums. In the meantime, his presence at home faded ever more, but his ability to invest all of himself into emotionally complex and mature performances only deepened.
"I've learned a lot since I first started playing," Allison said. "I'm definitely better than I was early in my career, because I've had a chance to listen to music with not just my ear, but also my heart and my mind. I just want to keep doing it. I played the same stuff in France as I did in Chicago, but it was much more accepted there. I got to play in bigger places, and I've been on the most popular television stations in Germany, France and Switzerland. That's the kind of real good play a blues player just doesn't get in the States, so we have to try to make it other ways. And we're not gonna give up."
And so Allison hit the highway, barnstorming America, gaining fans one revelatory show at a time. The second disc of this set mixes tracks from two typically fiery club performances, one from Buddy Guy's Chicago Legends just four months after the Blues Fest, and the other from one of his last shows, at Lincoln, Nebraska's Zoo Bar. The latter tracks, though not recorded in Chicago, are performances so strong that they had to be heard. Listening to the joy he invests in Party Time and the cut-to-the-bone passion with which he digs into What's Going On In My Home?, Will It Ever Change? and You're Gonna Make Me Cry, it's impossible to conceive that Luther's body was already starting to fail him. It says a lot about his attitude and love for the music that he remained on the road, playing the blues as long as he possibly could. "You've got to have the love for it to stick with it all these years," he told me. "I'm a fighter, and I feel like I've been fighting for my life as a musician. So many people have come up to me all excited and said, 'The blues are back!' What can I say to that except, 'Back for who?' I never stopped doing it, never changed a thing. A lot of great musicians, young and old, have come and gone, and I'm still here. And as long as I am, I'm not going to stop."
Of course, he couldn't have known that soon after he said this he would be gone. That he died on the doorstep of achieving the domestic recognition that he so longed for is a tragedy that one could spend a lifetime pondering without ever making sense of. His zeal was such that it's tempting to think that perhaps he knew his time was limited. But that interpretation actually belittles Allison's lust for life; he truly lived each day like it was his last, played every show like he might never be on stage again. "I never had any regrets about going overseas," Luther said. "I did what I had to and the people of Europe were beautiful to me. But I never gave up the hope that I would make my name back home, either. And when the time was right, I started back up here."
In retrospect, it seems completely natural that he would replicate his European success back home, because Luther was a great musician and a powerful personality. His death left a void in the blues world so profound that it's hard to believe that just a few years prior, only the most ardent American fans even knew his name. Live in Chicago is just one more reminder of how much Luther is missed. Those of us who had the pleasure of experiencing Luther in concert will listen and picture him striding the stage, sweating, grimacing, laughing, hollering, shaking the hell out of his guitar trying to wring a little bit more sustain, just a touch more emotion, out of a note. If you missed out on seeing him perform, these CDs thankfully capture the powerful sound and irresistible energy that defined Luther live. So turn up the volume, shut your eyes, and remember Luther's motto: Leave your ego, play the music, love the people. Amen. --Alan Paul
Alan Paul is an Associate Editor of Guitar World and the editor of www.guitarworld.com.

Thanks: Rocky Brown, Thomas Ruf and Bruce Iglauer would like to thank:
Miki Mulvehill of Blue Sky Management (the first to help the little red hen); Ira Leslie; Mike Kappus and Rosebud Music; James Solberg, Ken Faltinson, Mike Vakahakalakis' Vlahakis, Robb Stupka, J. Mattes, Willie Hayes, Stephen Guillaume, Michel Carras, Zox, Zack Prather, Gerald Draper, Tommie Harris, Roel Spanjers, James Tate and Thomas Adapoe for the long hours, hard work, dedication and beautiful music; Jim Gaines, Mike Iacopelli and Nikos Lyros for polishing the diamonds; Tom Marker and WXRT-FM; Tory P. Malatia of WBEZ-FM; Carl Milone and Sue Maryott of Nebraska ETV Network; Timothy Powell for multitracking above and beyond the call of duty; Otis and Masaki Rush; Eddie C. and Barbara Campbell; Barry Dolins and the City of Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events; Buddy Guy's Legends; The Zoo Bar; The British Blues Connection for being the first to honor Luther with an award; The Blues Foundation for recognizing and honoring blues musicians when others don't.
Family, friends and fans who supported Luther's music and gave him flowers while he was alive; Dr. J. Cleary, Dr. P. Idsvoog, Deb Dalsing, Mary Hahn, and the staff at UW Madison Hospital for giving Luther the loving palliative care that allowed him the dignity of dying a good death; Sue, Lon, Megan and Claire Sprecher for making Luther feel at home; Vicki and Angie at Washington Memorial Gardens; and Pat Mulvehill for helping all of us with the transition; Gibson, Fender and Blade Guitars for fine "I never met a guitar that I didn't love" guitars; they allowed his fingers and mind to make the beautiful music that had to come out.

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Live in Paradisee (2001) (DVD)

Release Notes:
This 2 ½ hour high-energy performance shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
Luther Allison (1939 - 1997), the often prize-winning Blues Star, convinced with his immense energy, combined with his passionate guitarattacks and was loved in the same way by the Blues- and Rockfans.
“The DVD celebrates the blues mastery of the late Luther Allison. Live in Paradise, recorded in April 1997 at the Theater St. Gilles on La Reunion, captures Allison just two weeks before he won a Handy award for Blues Entertainer of the year and three months before he was diagnosed with cancer. …
The visual quality is superb, and the sound production is so clear you can hear every word….
After attending a Luther Allison show, I always wished I could see the experience over and over. Live in Paradise is the ultimate celebration of the power of Allison’s message to the world.”
-- Art Tipaldi (Blues Revue)

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Pay It Forward - Luther Allison & Friends (2002)

1.) I wanna be with you
2.) Still called the blues
3.) Dock of the bay
4.) Just as I am
5.) Nobody but you
6.) Perfume & grime
7.) Cherry red wine
8.) Idols in mind
9.) Hoochie coochie man
10.) Slipping away
11.) Love is free
12.) I know (Bonus Jam)

together with:
Joanna Connor - Otis Grand - James Solberg - The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - Patrick Verbeke - Kenn Lending - Marla Glen - Bernard Allison - Horns of Holland - Friend 'n Fellow

Tracks 1,3,4,5,7,9: previously unreleased
Tracks 6,10,11: currently out of print
Tracks 3,9,11 are live; all others are studio tracks

Release Notes:
Five Years after his untimely passing, Ruf Records releases “Pay It Forward” celebrating what would have been Luther Allison´s 63rd birthday on August 17th, 2002. Those 12 tracks were recorded from 1984 to 1994 during Luther´s self-imposed exile years in Paris, France.
“Pay It Forward” features many previously unreleased recordings and tracks which have been out of print for years. It features various guest artists who Luther performed with:
Joanna Connor - Otis Grand - James Solberg - The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section - Patrick Verbeke - Kenn Lending - Marla Glen - Bernard Allison.
“Pay It Forward” names the conception Luther Allison lived as performer and artist:
“My blues have taken me around the world, from Chicago to Berlin, from Tokyo to Paris, it never mattered to me what color your skin is or what country you live in, as long as we share in that feelin´ I call the blues and become friends.” - Luther Allison

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