Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

If I Have to Wreck L.A.: Kent and Modern Records: Blues Into the 60s Vol 2 [Ace, 2020]
I kept waiting to get tired of this record rather than playing it one more once before I wrote up my Honorable Mention, so finally I just pulled it up a notch: 24 midtempo, mostly 1967-68 L.A. blues tracks from the Kent label when B.B. was its mainstay, half previously unissued, only two by names I knew: a striking Big Mama Thornton onefer and a Lowell Fulson finale sharper than I would have predicted. Highlights: Willie Headen's title opener and its follow-up, alternate version of title opener, Willie Garland's lost "Address in My Hand," Model T Slim's dandy "Baby Don't Tear My Clothes," Long Gone Miles's doggish "Let Me Play With Your Poodle," and Long Gone Miles's draft-superannuating "War Time Blues." Mush-mouthed shuffler Headen and Lightnin' Hopkins protege Miles sound like finds to me. B+