Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown – Double Shot
"Unsurprisingly it does not disappoint . . . [Pryor] is quite simply a giant of the blues . . . Snooky moans the blues as Brown bends his strings in subtle shades of blue, signifying another winner for Electro-Fi." - Mick Rainsford, Blueprint, U.K.
"Snooky Pryor and Mel Brown can rightfully be presented as possibly 'the strongest combination of pure talent in the blues today.' These guys are driving the train of the blues as it rides down the tracks of today." - John Scoles, Scene
"High-octane blues . . . [Brown's] lowdown licks [are] a perfect foil for Pryor's lusty bellows." - Bill Dahl, Living Blues
Is there a stronger combination of pure talent in the blues world today than Snooky Pryor and Mel Brown? Recording them together as a duo is the kind of project one dreams about. Here's how the disc you're holding came about:
During September 1998, while my partner Sandra Tooze and I were recording Snooky Pryor's Electro-Fi CD Can't Stop Blowin', we were fortunate to include guitar ace Mel Brown as a guest. It had been years since they'd bent a note together, but the two old pros immediately picked up the deep-in-the-pocket groove they'd perfected onstage at Antone's club in Austin during the 1980s. "We was tops down there," Snooky remembers. "We used to put everybody to shame. People didn't want to come up on the bandstand behind me and Mel."
In an age when fewer and fewer blues giants walk the earth, the impact of the music they cut together that day was not lost on either man, particularly Snooky Pryor. In the summer of 1999 Mel recorded his Electro-Fi debut Neck Bones And Caviar, which further enhanced his reputation amongst guitar aficionados. Shortly thereafter Snooky called to propose that he and Mel team up to record as a duo. "After my CD turned out so well, and Mel worked so hard, it was time for a pay back," Snooky asserted. Pryor had previously recorded in a duo format with both Johnny Shines and Homesick James, so the bar was set high for Mel.
Born on September 15, 1921, in Lambert, Mississippi, Snooky Pryor has enjoyed an illustrious career that spans seven decades. Milestones include pioneering the amplification of the blues harp in 1945. His recording of "Telephone Blues," backed with "Snooky And Moody's Boogie," is generally acknowledged to be the first postwar Chicago blues record.
Mel Brown, born on October 7, 1939, in Jackson, Mississippi, has used his big Super 400 Gibson to carve out his own corner in the blues world. Also highly skilled on B3 and piano, Mel has toured and/or recorded with Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King, Etta James, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. He released six LPs on ABC/Impulse from 1967 into the 1970s.
Both consummate professionals, Snooky and Mel arrived at the studio well prepared and proceeded to tear into the 13 tracks you find here. From Snooky's incendiary harp to Mel's scorching guitar, these two can burn down the house in less time than it takes most players to strike a match. When the smoke had cleared, each generously deflected praise to the other. "Nobody does it like Mel Brown. He means the world to me," proclaimed Snooky. With deep affection and respect for Snooky, Mel commented, "That's Snooky doing his Snooky thing . . . It will get you moving!" - Andrew Galloway
1. Dirty Rat - 4:52 2. Ruby Mae - 4:56 3. Early in the Morning - 4:31 4. Big Leg Woman - 7:34 5. Snooky and Mel Boogie - 1:41 6. Rock This House - 4:06 7. Let Your Hair Down, Woman - 5:23 8. So Fine - 3:15 9. That's All Right - 6:51 10. Do the Boogaloo - 5:09 11. Ease My Mind - 5:29 12. Work Til My Days Are Gone - 3:34
Snooky Pryor (vocals on 1,3,4,7,8,10, 12, harmonica) , Mel Brown (vocals on 2,6,9,11, guitar, second vocals on 3) , John Lee (piano on 1,2,3,5,9) , Al Richardson (bass) , Jim Boudreau (drums) , Michael Fonfara (piano on 4,6,7,8,10,11)
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