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BluesPages Records

December 2002

I've noticed a tendency among blues reviewers to 'accent-u-ate the positive' when they write about an album-sometimes way too much. I can't count the reviews I've read extolling the magnificence of some CD that is, on listening, fairly average. If I bought every album recommended as a "must buy" by gushing reviewers, I'd have to rent a few storage units to hold the collection.

So when I got the assignment to review Charlie Morris' new CD, "Still Got 'Em," I decided to give it a real critical listen and write as non-partisan a review as possible--given that I already like Charlie and wrote an enthusiastic review of his first album.

I had to listen several times before I could find something to criticize on the new disc, but finally I did. It's not long enough! Other than that, I've got to give Charlie another rave review. "Still Got 'Em" is even better than his first CD. I like everything about it, the songs, the album concept, the graphics, the musicians and the overall ambience.

The title song refers to the blues of course, and Charlie, who is as good a storyteller as he is a musician, relates how he used to be wealthy but now he's livin' with the blues. The story rings true, like the song about "Jenny," a chick who liked to party a little too hard. On "Mr. Miracle Meets His Match," Sandy Atkinson joins Charlie in a hot-blooded duet that will sizzle your saddle.

There's swing, jazz and gospel-influenced material here-all original and all heavily blues flavored of course. The musicians Charlie assembled for the sessions do a great job. Especially noteworthy are T.C. Carr on harmonica, Dean Germain on organ, and Sugar and Spice on backup vocals.

Here I go, spewing superlatives again, after disclaiming those kinds of reviews. Well, I can't help it. Charlie my boy, you've outdone yourself. "Still Got 'Em" is as tasty a CD as I've run across this whole century!