By Eric SteinerForty Four, Paul Rodgers’ star-studded 1993 CD, Muddy Water Blues, and John Primer’s 2003 Blue Steel, offer outstanding re-interpretations of blues classics like “Forty Four,” “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” and “Fine Little Mama.”
Tim Aves & Wolfpack’s 2011 sessions’ CD recorded at the Saint Studios in Burnham, England, to this list. Tim’s expert slide work on “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” sets the stage alongside Paul Lester’s drums, and Joel Fisk’s guitar on Robert Johnson’s “Kindhearted Woman” and on Aves’ “Robert Johnson’s Shoes” add nice acoustic touches to this otherwise plugged-in CD. When not bending notes with Tim and Co., “Jelly Roll” Joel plays with a well-respected British blues outfit named Hokie Joint. Not every blues vocalist can scale the heights Wolf climbed, but Tim capably throws his all into each song. Wolf had a powerful stage persona, and was a powerful singer; Aves’ vocals more than meet the challenge posed by the man born Chester Burnett.