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Classic Album Review: Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm | Here and Now

The rock ’n’ roll pioneer finally buckles down and gets his mojo working again.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


It’s a rock Rorschach test: When I say Ike Turner, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Wife-beater? Drug addict? Jailbird? Well, that was all true — a long time ago.

Today, Ike is 69. It’s been 25 years since Tina and 12 years since his last high. And he thinks it’s high time people remembered the other Ike Turner: The R&B legend and rock ’n’ roll pioneer. So on Here & Now, his latest comeback effort after a couple of forgettable ’90s discs, Ike finally buckles down and gets his mojo working again. Playing most instruments himself (including drums), Turner lays down 11 sizzling slices of blues, boogie-woogie and bar-room R&B. Everything is driven by raucous rollicking barrelhouse piano lines, sprinkled with stinging whammy-bar guitar solos and topped by his hickory-and-molasses vocals. Whether he’s revisiting old chestnuts like Tore Up, Swanee River Boogie and Rocket 88 or trying his hand at contemporary blues-funk on You Can’t Winnum All, Ike makes it clear he still hasn’t lost his touch. Here & Now passes the test.