Wednesday, April 12, 2006:

Magic Sam -- That's All I Need

Magic Sam -- That's All I Need
This song is a friend helping you carry your load, an umbrella for the rain, a board for tires stuck in mud. It's from Chicago bluesman Magic Sam's 1967 debut, West Side Soul--an awesome album I hadn't heard just a few weeks ago--a recording that's intense and original and sparking with life. The disc was recommended by someone who knew I liked Otis Rush and who thought I'd like Magic Sam, and I did, and I do.

The opening riff is a bit like "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man" and overall it's got a similar vibe--a soulful, melodic performance. The other tracks on the disc are grittier but no less impressive for it.

Magic Sam had a promising start to his career but died young--32, of a heart attack.
[Allmusic.com bio]
[BluesNotes bio]
[West Side Soul]

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Comments:
What a terrific song. I've never heard of Magic Sam. It sounds more like classic 60s soul than Chicago blues. Is the rest of his work like this, or more blues-like?

Glad you like it. Most of the rest of the first album is more bluesy/less soulful, but I like it all. He and Mighty Joe Young have some great guitar work on it, and Sam's got a good set of pipes.

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