Electric Blues
Blue Coltrane - Messin' With The Blues
Wolf 1997
Review Published June 15, 1998
CD available at Tower Records
Also available through Wolf Records

Sound Clips, Discography
Track Listing
1 - Murder in the
First Degree

2 - Goin' to Chicago
3 - Somebody's Been
Sleepin' in my Bed

4 - Southside Shuffle
5 - Back Door Man
6 - Rockin' Chair Daddy
7 - Don't Cut Me off Again
8 - One Day the
Blues Will Hit You

9 - Chicago's Still Burnin'
10 - I'm Gettin'
down on You Baby

11 - I've Got My
Doors Open Baby

12 - You Burned
Too Many Bridges

13 - Woke Up In Chicago
14 - Goin' Up Your Alley
15 - Too Many Drivers

EB Rating - 4.0

Vocalist/keyboardist Chris "Blue" Coltrane is 63 years young, he looks and sings much younger than his years. He grew up in Fresno, California, and cut his blues teeth performing in predominantly all black blues joints while still in his teens. For the last several years he has been based in the Eugene, Oregon area. His vocals are solid and fairly distinctive.
Messin' With the Blues is billed as "Blues With a Jazz Fuse". Most of the songs are backed by a full horn section. The band is tight and talented, though the horn section gets a bit overbearing at times. Guitar is not heavily featured, but there are a few good slow blues guitar solos scattered here and there. There is also the occasional harmonica fill.
My favorite songs from the CD are the three slow blues numbers, Somebody's Been Sleepin' In My Bed, One Day the Blues Will Hit you, and Goin' Up Your Alley. These songs are each individually unique, and are the CD's strongest offerings. Also noteworthy are Murder In the First Degree, Goin' To Chicago, Don't Cut Me Off Again, You Burned Too Many Bridges, and Woke Up In Chicago.
The balance of the songs are in the OK to good range. For me, this CD hovers between a 3.5 and 4.0 rating. I gave it a 4.0 on the strength of the three excellent slow blues songs, and the fact that there aren't any truely poor songs on the CD. The make or break factor for this CD may be whether or not you enjoy blues backed by a fairly up-front horn section.

From the Liner Notes
When I was a sophomore in high school at age 14, I started playing professionally and started my first band. I played in nothing but Black blues joints in little Black towns which would remind you of the delta of Mississippi. These Black communities were around cotton fields out in the country around Fresno, California.
Here are some of the big blues names I worked with: T-Bone Walker and his Nephew T-Bone Walker Junior. I worked with the great Mercy Dee Walton who had the big hit One Room Country Shack. I also worked with Slim Blues Guitar Green and James Cotton. I've opened for Little Junior Wells and many others.
...Chris "Blue" Coltrane.