Not many people can say they were a sideman with Muddy Waters, except a veteran like Bob Margolin. He cut his blues teeth and fine-tuned his skills while playing alongside Waters for many years. Just like his mentor, his name has become synonymous with blues. When I took the CD off the tray of All-Star Blues Jam and looked at the picture of Bob, I thought that I was looking at Peter Green, another old blues player. There really is striking resemblance in that photo. It is no coincidence that these two legends have similarities, old blues men have a certain look and aura about them.
This project is all about blues excellence; it will no doubt be up for a W.C. Handy award this year. Margolin has some of the best bluesmen in the world sit in with him. Hubert Sumlin (guitar), Pinetop Perkins (piano), Carey Bell (harmonica), Tom "Mookie" Brill (bass, harmonica, vocals) and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (drums) add their many years of knowledge to make for a true all-star recording session.
"I'll Take Care of You" is hands down the best cut on the CD. Mookie Brill sings it live with seemingly divine inspiration. My other favorite is "My New Baby Owns a Whiskey Store," with Brill once again setting the pace for everyone on lead vocals. I love the line-My new baby owns a whiskey store, I don’t have to buy it no more, it is so blues. Margolin contributes the liner notes and comments on each track, adding additional color and essence to the entire package.
Margolin is a fine guitar player and he mixes very well with his peers on this album. What else can I say? The blues could not have a better ambassador. This is a five star cannot miss release for all blues lovers, so do not pass it up.