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Gaz's Rockin' Blues: Club Classics, TROJAN
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The Independent Culture

For a quarter-century, Gaz Mayall - son of blues legend John - has hosted a club night in Soho in London dedicated to R&B, ska and rock steady. Though intensely interested in the sartorial styles of these rebel youth subcultures, Gaz's Rockin' Blues has proved impervious to the vagaries of musical fashion, relying instead on the timeless qualities of Mayall's record-box. This two-CD set of his favourites is split into separate discs of R&B/rock'n'roll from the Forties and Fifties, and Jamaican ska and reggae from the Sixties and Seventies, both excellent. The first opens with tracks by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and Sonny Boy Williamson, pioneering figures in blues and rock, before running the R&B gamut from shouters like Wynonie Harris and guitarists such as Lowell Fulson and Johnny Guitar Watson to legendary bandleaders like Johnny Otis and Junior Parker, whose "Feeling Good" is a standout. The second disc is just as good, drawing on the ska heritage of Laurel Aitken, Desmond Dekker and Don Drummond but unafraid to include more mainstream Seventies stars such as John Holt and Ken Boothe. A guaranteed good time.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Feeling Good', 'One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer', '54-46 Was My Number', 'Treasure Island', 'Cassius Clay'

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