Who was/is Luther Allison ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Luther Allison

Even when he was just starting out on Chicago's West Side, Luther Allison understood the value of showmanship. "People like me, Freddie King, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, we kind of had what the new generation is creating today," said the late Allison. "We walked in (when) these great people like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Little Walter were sitting down on stage, kicking out that good sound. We, the young guys, they gave (us) a chance and at one point (we) said, 'Hey fellas, let's stand up like we do in church when we get happy. Let's show this energy!' Because if you're gonna feel good with the blues, you can't sit down. If you sit down, the audience is gonna want to sit down, and that's not gonna work. If you're gonna play a fast song, why sit down?"

When Chicago stopped being a welcoming homebase, the guitarist first migrated to Peoria, Illinois before chucking it all and settling in Paris. There Allison remained for the most part until 1994, when he came roaring back with a vengeance with his album ‘Soul Fixin' Man,' out on Alligator in the U.S. and in Europe on German manager Thomas Ruf's self-named label. The reenergized Allison's energy levels were higher than ever in concert; he seemed to need to prove himself all over again. "I know that there's no other blues act that can give that intensified four hours on stage at my age, and keep it interesting to the people," he boasted.

The intense minor-key Bad Love was one of the highlights on ‘Soul Fixin' Man.' Allison was on fire vocally as well as on his axe, backed by his co-writer James Solberg on the other guitar, keyboardist Ernest Williamson, bassist Dave Smith, drummer James Robinson, and the Memphis Horns (trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxist Andrew Love, veterans of countless ‘60s Stax/Volt sessions). The set was produced by Jim Gaines at Ardent Studios in Memphis; he got all Allison had.

"Now I want to know why I can't be on the top with everybody else in the blues," wondered Allison at the start of his astonishing comeback. "Like Dr. John says, 'You got to be at the right place at the right time.' I've been at all the right places. I've been there at all the wrong times. But I think I'm back home at the right time." Galvanizing the blues world with his marathon shows, Allison encored on Alligator in 1995 with ‘Blue Streak' and 1997's ‘Reckless.' He was headed for the stratosphere when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died August 12, 1997. Son Bernard Allison, a fine guitarist, carries on his dad's blues legacy.


Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois


Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!


More information about Luther Allison on
Luther Allison: A Legend Never Dies - Essential Recordings 1976 - 1997 (10-LP, 4-DVD & 7inch)
Art-Nr.: LPRUF2031

Item in stock

10-LP / 4-DVD / 7inch box (LP slipcase) with 88-page hardcover book. 77 tracks (LP), 58 (DVD). Total playing time: c. 402 mins. (CD), c. 400 mins. (DVD). NTSC, region: 0 Box set commemorating the 20th anniversary of Luther Allison’s death • First...

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Luther Allison: A Legend Never Dies - Essential Recordings 1976 - 1997 (7-CD, 4-DVD & 7inch)
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1243

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7-CD / 4-DVD / 7inch box (LP-size) with 88-page hardcover book. 79 tracks (CD), 58 (DVD). Total playing time: 414 mins. (CD), c. 400 mins. (DVD). NTSC, region: 0 Box set commemorating the 20th anniversary of Luther Allison’s death • First comprehensive CD and...

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Luther Allison: Love Me Mama
Art-Nr.: CDDE625

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Re-issue of his first-ever LP record; contains two previously unissued songs and unissued alternate takes. 'Allison is a member of the elite group of Chicago bluesmen who originated what has become known as the 'West Side' sound'. LUTHER ALLISON - gtr/voc, JIMMY...

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Luther Allison: Luther's Blues
Art-Nr.: CD134092

Item in stock

This is a sensational release! His excellent studio album plus thirty(!) minutes of previously unreleased bonus music. Two tracks are from the original studio session that produced this album. And there's also a medley recorded at the famous Ann Arbor festival. The...

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Luther Allison: Where Have You Been?
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1008

Currently not available

(1976-94 'Ruf Records') (78:50/13) Bislang unveröffentlichte Live-Aufnahmen von vier Allison-Auftritten beim renommierten Montreux-Festival in der Schweiz. Gut / nice set of takes from a total of four previously unreleased Montreux Festival live shows. LUTHER...

$8.78 *

Luther Allison: Bad News Is Coming
Art-Nr.: CD134072

Currently not available

his marvelous first studio album for the famous Motown soul factory. No soul here, but straight, powerful, loud and electric west side guitar blues. Contains 21 minutes of previously unreleased, and good material. Essential.

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Luther Allison: Underground
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1132

Currently not available

These recordings were made in 1967/67 - despite the fact that due to the original informations on the CD that the recordings were from 1958, and previously unreleased. Most likely, this session took part while Luther was under exclusive contract to 'Delmark'. He...

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Luther Allison: Live In Chicago (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRUF1042

Currently not available

Recorded when he was just about to cross over into the US rock market, leaving the plane to enter the stage at Chicago's Blues Fest performing for more than 150,000. Luther Allison was the hardest-working blues guitar player I ever met. Sometimes he played for more...

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