I hope you will take the time to listen to The Older I Get The Better I Was on my Live Blues World audio player. I would also appreciate the consideration of any voting members of the Blues Foundation...Big Joe Shelton
The Blues Foundation will present the 33rd Blues Music Awards on May 10, 2012 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Performers, industry representatives and fans from around the globe gathered to celebrate the best in Blues recording and performance from 2011.
The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest honor given to Blues artists. The presenting sponsor will once again be The Gibson Foundation. 2012 Blues Music Awards sponsors include ArtsMemphis, BMI, Blue Mountain Artists, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Gibson Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Sony/Legacy and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Posted on December 28, 2011 at 3:03am
Living Blues Magazine #216
December 2011 / January 2012
BIG JOE SHELTON
Tha Older I Get The Better I Was
ALT 45 RECORDS
Mississippi native Big Joe Shelton's second release on the independent ALT 45 RECORDS label features some musical ( Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen ) and lyrical ( They Can't Be Satisfied ) gems that reveal themselves with repeated listens. Backed by a powerful band, Shelton's witty and keen observations on relationships, politics, and the huiman condition make The Older I Get The Better I Was a worthwhile purchase.
The disc starts with Hole In Yo Soul and the title track which are standard juke joint blues shuffles that Shelton could probably write in his sleep. By the third song, however, Big Joe and The Black Prairie Blues Ambassadors, offer listeners something to get excited about: the drum introduction and greasy slide guitar distinguish What Else Can It Be; the zydeco-flavored Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen, is a rollicking and hilarious tale of Shelton's new voodoo lover: " She came to me through the radio / On a late night New Orleans call in show / She was curing woes from A to Z /...She soothed my soul and my mental mind / Man she made me feel so fine / She's the woman in my dreams," The loping Midnight In Mississippi genuinely captures the pathos of self-loathing and loneliness. And Ashes To Ashes, a tale of betrayal and relational dissolution, is the CD's keynote song and captures the Ambassadors at their best: Ed Swan's bass riff, Will Hunt's tribal drums, Ben Ferrell's slithering and seductive guitar, and Shelton's remarkable, weathered sandpaper voice coalesce into a dynamic whole, creating genuine suspense and…Continue
Posted on December 28, 2011 at 3:02am
BLUES IN BRITAIN MAGAZINE (UK) CD REVIEW
Big Joe Shelton – The Older I Get The Better I Was – ALT 45 RECORDS
Harmonica player and singer Big Joe was born in north-east Mississippi and learned the blues as a youngster, befriending the legendary blues veteran Big Joe Williams; the famed Willie King (to whom this release is dedicated) appeared on Joe’s very well-received previous CD, “Black Prairie Blues”, released in 2008. There are ten original numbers on this follow-up set, making me wonder just what an artist has to do to get a recording contract these days. Big Joe Shelton has a big, gritty voice akin to Howling Wolf’s, and although his style is certainly tough, pounding, and unmistakably rooted in Mississippi, it is also quite varied. Much of the time Joe is in down-home mood, with a raw, functional, but nonetheless exciting harmonica style to match, but then again the closer ‘Hard To Get Along’ is subtly gospel-based, ‘Ashes To Ashes’ reminds me of a spooky Santana, and ‘Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen’ flits between zydeco and N’Awlins R’n’B, with its accordion sound and big horns. ‘Thanks For The Love’ is a Little Willie John-inflected blues-ballad, and ‘What Else Can It Be’ has the martial beat and wild slide of the Hill Country blues. ‘They Can't Be Satisfied’ is an up-to-date anti-racism anthem. All in all, this is a CD certainly well worth investigating.
Rating: 9 - Norman Darwen
Posted on December 28, 2011 at 2:54am
Blues Matters Magazine Review (UK)
Big Joe Shelton was born in the Black Prairie region of Northeast Mississippi. ‘The Older I Get the Better I Was’ is his second album on the independent ALT 45 Records label, It was recorded at the B.B. King Recording Studio on the campus of Mississippi Valley State University in the summer of 2010 and includes ten original tracks. Shelton does harmonica and vocals on all tracks and does a fine job indeed. The album rocks along from the first offering, ‘Hole In Yo Soul’ to the last one ‘Hard To get Along’. All tracks offer fine harp blowing, gutsy guitar work from Ben Ferrell (especially on ‘What Else Can It Be’) and some tight rhythm work from Ed Swan on bass and Will Hunt on drums. Jimmy Lee Jr. contributes some good blues keyboards as well. Shelton’s real strength is his writing and all ten tracks are high quality, in particular ‘Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen’ and played with clear passion. Shelton lists his heroes as Big Joe Williams, Furry Lewis, Junior Kimbrough, and R.L. Burnside. His gravelly voice and direct no nonsense approach to the Blues on this album pay energetic tribute to his heroes. The CD cover says that the album was funded in part by the Department of Education and University sponsored programs – it was money well spent!
Posted on December 28, 2011 at 2:48am