Henry Gray – Shake A Hand Review

By Bluesnews.de

Henry Gray
Shake A Hand
(Wolf Records, 54:52)

Jewel Case | booklet (6 pages)

The tension is almost tangible: the title track struggles
noticeably to restraint, to then freed from in the second part
to snap the leash. As furious as swamp blues piano
Legendary Henry Gray in the R&B standard “Shake A Hand” throws and
purposefully plays with dynamics, it clearly shows where he has mastered his craft
sharpened: on the stage. That he has already put his talent into service
presented by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf or The Rolling Stones
worth mentioning, but actually irrelevant. More important is how
very Gray brought the blues of his homeland to the stage for over 70 years.
the world wore. Very fitting that this CD is his live work
illuminated. Contrary to what the intro in particular might convey, arose
the recordings were not made in one evening but in 1994 and
1995 with performances in England, Norway, France and Ireland
as recorded in a studio session. Gray plays through 18
Classics by Ray Charles, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf
or Jimmy Reed, as well as own compositions
positions and improvisations. The CD appears as the eighth part of a
Series dedicated to Louisiana swamp blues. Corresponding
the makers took their job of precise timing seriously
Mapping and Evaluating the Work of Henry Gray: The
Liner notes are very worthwhile reading.

Written by Christoph Ulrich