Carey Bell, Mellow Down Easy

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A Chicago blues classicist puts on the ritz.

Equal parts Little Walter and Big Walter (Horton), the versatile Bell is a Chicago classicist here, and he wears it well — wailing wildly on Little Walter's title song, puttin'on the ritz for the slinky “Big Walter Strut,” saluting Muddy Waters on “Short Dress Woman” and “Walkin'Through the Park,” and unleashing his phantom, world-weary harmonica moans on “Delta Time” and “So Easy to Love You.” His insouciant vocals on the likes of “For the Love of a Woman” provide an apt counterpart to that moan.