Electric Blues
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  Sonny Moorman
By Request
Atlas - 1999
Visit the Official Sonny Moorman Website
Review Published May 17, 2000

Discography/Sound Clips
Track Listing
  1. Crossroads
  2. Born Under A Bad Sign
  3. Little Wing
  4. The Wind Cries Mary
  5. Rock Me Baby
  6. Blue Jean Blues
  7. Oh Well
  8. Black Magic Woman
  9. Gypsy Queen
  10. Drowning on Dry Land
  11. Statesboro Blues/One Way Out
EB Rating - 4.5
    Sonny Moorman's By Request is a collection of eleven cover tunes. The set list is quite impresive. From Robert Johnson to Jimi Hendrix and most of what's in between. There are no wimpy songs on this disc. All of these tunes are classic originals, and several have been covered by widely recognized guitar masters, helping to make them favorite blues standards. It's no small feat to work through this set list and pull it off convincingly, but Sonny does an admirable job.
    Sonny playing varies from very agressive, almost metal, blues-rock to intricate melodic riffs. He sometimes flavors things with his own style, while other times remains very faithful to the original version. In all cases, he maintains good contact with the original intent. There's always more than one way to interpret a song, but whether through good insight or just good "blues sense", nearly all of Sonny's interpretations feel "right".
    It's really hard for me to pick favorites from this CD. The Hendrix covers are excellent, as are the Santana staples, "Black Magic Woman" and "Gypsy Queen". "Crossroads", "Born Under A Bad Sign", "Rock Me Baby" and "Oh Well" are great blues-rock renditions. Sonny's work on the "Statesboro Blues/One Way Out" medley is very good. No, it's not Dwayne, but still very good. While slow blues is usually my favorite feature of most blues CDs, the two slow blues songs "Blue Jean Blues" and "Drowning On Dry Land" don't get my vote for top honors this time. It's not that they're bad, but they feel just a touch too slow to me. In the case of "Blue Jean Blues", Sonny plays it just as Gibbons and Comany intended... the original version feels too slow to me as well. The single real negative comment I have about this disc is on the 6 minute plus drum solo embedded in the "Statesboro Blues/One Way Out" medley. Sorry guys, but this solo is about 5 1/2 minutes too long.
    The "too slow" slow blues and extended drum solo not withstanding, if you recognize all or most of the songs on By Request as some of your favorites, and you are a fan of blues-rock guitar, you are sure to enjoy this set.

In 2000 Sonny released a subsequent follow-up to "By Request", aptly named "By Request 2". This disc features another fine set of classic covers, including songs by Robin Trower, Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton, Santana, ZZ Top, and Muddy Waters. If you liked "By Request", you are sure to find "By Request 2" to be a great addition to your collection.
Herm
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