Mike Whellans - Fired-Up And Ready

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(November 2008) 15 tracks: Fired Up And Ready * The Boogie Man * Going To My Home Town * I Want To Hug You * Danger Man II * Early In The Morning * Winding Track * Diving Duck Blues * Red Hot Kisses * Lonesome Road * Worried Mind * Nobody's Fault But Mine / Jack 0' Diamond * Pinetop Moon / Sandy Cameron * Ragtime Joe (live) * Strange Love (live).

Mike Whellans is the real thing, a keeper of the one-man blues band flame that burned so passionately in the work of this highly specialised form's masters, including Doctor Isaiah Ross, Jesse Fuller and Whellans' great British forerunner, Tony 'Duster' Bennett.

Like all true bluesmen and women, when Whellans sings and plays, he means it. He can set a scene of darkness and foreboding as the Boogie Man lurks, play twelve-string guitar in the grand driving blues tradition to propel his Winding Track, and sing of hugging his baby's deserted
pillow so that you really feel his loss.

The one-man blues band is self-sufficient, of course, but as with Bennett, Whellans can call on other musicians to expand his palette and yet retain the spirit of individuality that is his major strength – even when guests such as David Bromberg have recorded their parts on different continents.

If you're already familiar with Whellans, you'll know to expect blues that's fired up and ready. But if this is your introduction, prepare to hear a talent who's not only his own man as a singer, guitarist and ace blues harpist, he's his own rhythm section, too.

Mike Whellans (guitar, harmonica, drums, vocals) with David Bromberg (guitar), Mike Katz (bass, Highland bagpipe), Peter Meaney (tenor sax), Brian Miller (mandolin), Alan Reid (Hammond organ), Graham Scott (piano) and Alasdair White (fiddle).

"Mike Whellans is a consummate bluesman: a brilliant songwriter, a sharp singer and a mean hand at the guitar. Think of him as a Jimmy Reed or Willie Dixon transplanted from Lake Michigan to the shores of Loch Lomond..." (Utne Reader)

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