Real Life by Clarence Gatemouth Brown
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Description of Real Life by Clarence Gatemouth Brown
Released by Rounder Select
Available in Audio CD format
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This live set from Fort Worth, Texas, is that rarest of creatures: a live album with the sound quality and economy of a studio recording. Musically, as one would expect from Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the nine tracks are all over the map, from the slow funk-blues of "Catfish" (with some scorching fiddle that suggests that Brown would do handily as the hero of a certain Charlie Daniels song), to a boogie take on W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues," to a smashing rendition of Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train," which goes to show that Brown can do jazz just as well as he does blues--that is to say, very well indeed. There's also a very tender rendition of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," and things wind up with Brown's very own "What a Shame, What a Shame." In fact, the only shortcoming of this album is that it's too short; Gatemouth's too varied and skilled a musician to be summed up in a mere nine tracks. Another few numbers would leave the listener completely satisfied. --Genevieve Williams