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CD Review: Johnny Maddox and His Dixie Boys – Dixieland Blues

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Johnny Maddox and His Dixie Boys – Dixieland Blues

The father of the recorded blues, W.C. Handy, once called Johnny Maddox “the white boy with the colored fingers.” A ragtime piano player, Maddox assembled his favorite players and led them through many songs not previously played in the dixieland jazz style.

On Dixieland Blues there is timeless spirit, a sense of energetic men in their shirtsleeves playing their hearts out for people who knew good music when they heard it. Each track of this collection is crisp and lively. Beale Street Blues, Memphis Blues, and Friday Night Blues all receive remarkable enthusiastic treatment with this recording.

I sat down to listen to the CD and was transported back to a time when the music business was all about the music. I recalled many of the songs as those my grandfather once played, sometimes on the organ, sometimes on the banjo.

One could easily dismiss this CD as a remaster meant solely for period movies or plays. However, the musicianship and timelessness of the songs brings new dimension to wonderful arrangements that stand solidly on their own merits for any time period. What Maddox created for Dixieland Blues is an incredible collection of songs with deep, rich tone and feeling. It’s a testament to the enduring quality and the wide range of expression possible in with the blues.

Any serious collector should have Johnny Maddox’s Dixieland Blues in their library.

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