Genuine Houserockin’ Music II

Various Artists

Alligator, 1987

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


“Presently there are four other volumes in this serieseventually we’ll get to them all.” - from the review of Genuine Houserockin’ Music, published 9/12/1997

Uh, yeah… about that.

Okay, so it’s been over 25 years since I last tackled one of the famously low-priced compilation albums that Chicago-based blues label Alligator put out. It’s not like I’ve been ignoring other releases on the label all this time.

But, yeah, a promise is a promise… so, back into the Pierce Memorial Archives we go for the second disc in this collection (which, surprisingly, never saw a sixth or higher edition released). And, like its predecessor, it is a worthy collection of previously released tracks that serve as a great introduction to the 16 artists featured.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While there are some artists who make a return appearance from the first edition of Genuine Houserockin’ Music (such as Lonnie Brooks, Albert Collins, Koko Taylor and Lonnie Mack), this collection serves as an introduction to others who were just getting started with their careers on the label. From Donald Kinsey & The Kinsey Report (who appear courtesy of The New Bluebloods collection) to Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials and Little Charlie & The Nightcats, the collection serves as a great primer of new and established artists.

While not every track technically hits the bullseye, one can’t say that any selection on Genuine Houserockin’ Music II is bad. I can appreciate Mack’s “Tough On Me, Tough On You” and Professor’s Blues Review with Gloria Hardiman’s “Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On,” but I can’t honestly say these are tracks I’d willingly search out on my own. Compared to Johnny Winter’s “Mojo Boogie,” Collins’s “I Ain’t Drunk” and Professor Longhair’s “It’s My Fault, Darling,” they’re not as strong—but, when put together, the collection works very well.

One does have to question, though, why the producers chose not to feature any tracks from Alligator’s venture into reggae music, or from the few discs they had licensed from Atlantic (such as Dr. John’s Gumbo). Maybe they were prevented from doing so—and, in retrospect, Alligator had ended their reggae experiment two years prior. Still, both were parts of their history; at least in terms of the reggae side, I could easily have selected one or two tracks to represent it.

Unlike the first volume of this series, Genuine Houserockin’ Music II doesn’t include any previously unreleased material—so it can’t be said that this is a must-own disc. However, it still is a pleasant enough set of music that, even if you own every single album these tracks came from, you’ll want to have this as part of your library. Now, the question is if it’s going to take me another 25 years to get to the third installment of the series.

Rating: A-

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