Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

James Blood Ulmer: Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions [Label M, 2001]
Ulmer's singing has always been Delta, but on the blues album of his life Vernon Reid hooks him up with Willie Dixon, and the three unmatched neoprimitivists make roughslick music together. Not all the best tracks are Dixon songs: here's to old-time DJ Holmes Daylie's "Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal," John Lee Hooker's whistled "Dimples," the eight-minute "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)" turbocharging over the dull memory of the nine-minute "Walking Blues." And if Dixon ever heard anything like the harmolodics Ulmer lays on "Little Red Rooster" and "I Love the Life I Live," Pete Cosey was God. A-