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James Armstrong - Sleeping With A Stranger / Got It Goin' On (1995/2000)

Artist: James Armstrong
Title: Sleeping With A Stranger / Got It Goin' On
Year Of Release: 1995/2000
Label: Hightone Records
Genre: Modern Electric Blues
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 93:06
Total Size: 222 MB

1. Sleeping With A Stranger (3:05)
2. From Time To Time (3:18)
3. Hard, Hard Blues (4:38)
4. Midnight Again (3:41)
5. Baby's Catwalkin' (3:58)
6. The Devil's Livin' There (4:47)
7. Don't Kiss And Tell (4:44)
8. Wrong Address (3:38)
9. Six Bar City (3:28)
10. Away From Home (4:03)
11. That Kind Of Feeling (3:50)
12. Devil's Moon (4:34)

L.A. guitarist James Armstrong's first recording, 1995's Sleeping With a Stranger on HighTone Records, invited comparison to Robert Cray, whose 1983 Bad Influence (HighTone) bore the stamp of label honcho Bruce Bromberg, who also wrote songs for both men. Each album featured their fondness for soul blues (for which their voices are admirably suited) versus the straight-ahead gritty 12-bar blues of, say, Muddy Waters. The comparisons to Cray still apply as Armstrong's supple voice is heard to good effect here on 11 songs (more soul than blues) that depict various dilemmas facing modern man. The title track, for example, is a litany of border-crossing problems that would be funny if it weren't so close to the truth. Set to a catchy rhythm enhanced by his slide guitar, Armstrong warns "Have your papers in order, you see the world has changed-we've got blues at the border" and goes on to list what you need to cross the Mexican border, e.g., "your passport, a picture of your grandmother, your uncle's shoe size." "Devil's Candy" (it takes the form of a woman whose kisses are like candy) also features his potent slide guitar. Best song: "Brand New Man," a peppy blues. Worst song: the over-produced "Baby, Can You Hear Me?" ~Review by Miles Jordan

James Armstrong - Sleeping With A Stranger / Got It Goin' On (1995/2000)

1. Got It Goin' On (4:22)
2. Pennies And Picks (4:21)
3. Another Dream (5:21)
4. 2 Sides (3:45)
5. Mr. B's (3:27)
6. Love Will Make You Do Wrong (4:26)
7. Beat Up By Love (4:31)
8. Shut My Eyes (3:55)
9. Likes Her Lovin' (3:15)
10. Lucky Guy (4:15)
11. I'll Learn Some Time (3:34)

Got It Goin' On is an apt title for this third release from California bluesman James Armstrong. While his previous release, Dark Night, was steeped in a soul/blues vein, this album is a solid, stripped-down blues session. Armstrong's guitar chops (especially on slide guitar) and impassioned vocals continue to gain strength following the horrendous attack on his life in 1997. Making an encore appearance is guitarist Michael Ross, who blends in with the dominant role Armstrong assumes, while the keyboard work is provided by Jimmy Pugh of the Robert Cray Band. The majority of cuts were written or co-written by Armstrong, including the heartfelt ballad "Another Dream," the funky rocker "2 Sides," included in the movie Speechless, and the New Orleans-influenced "Mr. B's." ~Review by Al Campbell

James Armstrong - Sleeping With A Stranger / Got It Goin' On (1995/2000)
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Tags: Armstrong, Sleeping, Stranger

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