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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 13 | volume III | February-March, 2000



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 13February-March, 2000
Sound Reviews

Papa Is a Junkey - A Story On Devotion

(Big Lucky Carter - "Lucky 13", BlueSide, 1998)

p. 1
Igor Isakovski

    For a long time, I was thinking what to say about this album, because it’s hard to value what you like a lot. At least it’s hard for me. But, someone was surely feeling worse: imagine how it looks like to debut with (a complete) album at the age of 78… Well, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what Big Lucky Carter did in 1998, under the shelter of relatively new recording house BlueSide, section of Westside from London. In fact, what on the first glance looks like the beginning, is “just” encirclement of ones career, that with change of luck has lasted for about 4 decades. The fact that just a few records were made in this long period is a way of telling the unhappy Blues story of this musician. During the 70's there is no single recorded song, and just one in the 80's (and even that one is in a duet); those things speak more then any metaphor. Well, if to record an album under this circumstances is not a devotion, I don’t know what is.
    “Lucky 13” contains exactly that number of items, in total duration of 55 minutes, and they are all signed by Levester Carter. Detail exceptionally appreciated in today’s Blues production. Each of this songs is partly already a Blues classic; both in the composing and performative manners. They contain all basic instruments: drums (D. Valentine, L.T. Lewis), harp (J.W. Perry), bas (M. Lee), piano (L. Nelson), organ (W. Hubbard) and guitar/vocal (Levester Carter); it strikes me that I have never ever heard of this musicians before. Almost all are in their late 60ies, (the bend together is 452 years old!) and they play the Blues on the best possible way: from the guts, and with soul. Lyrics are written with an intellectual power. Humorous, they might be confusing for those used to Blues “mourns”; the surprise is bigger being aware that they are written by a man as old as he is.

    “The Bible term for the mule is an ass. We all have an ass, you know…”
       from The Miss Lula May’s Mule

    Talking of lyrics, let me not forget the speaking items on the album: “Papa Is A Junkie”, and “socially conscious” “AIDS Is Killing Me”, which over and over again proves that Blues is, on the first place, a story.
    Recorded in three days of March 1998 in Memphis, Tennessee, under the producer’s conduction

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