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Thursday, April 16, 1998

Review - Living on the River

Artist: Satan And Adam

Posted on Thu, Apr 16, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Satan is Harlem-bred guitarist Sterling Magee, a former session man for James Brown and George Benson. Adam is Princeton-educated Adam Gussow, who, while trying to find a shortcut to work one day in 1986, spotted Magee playing on a Harlem street. Gussow asked to sit in and a musical partnership was born. Their fresh twist on the classic guitar-and-harmonica combo sounds like Robert Johnson reborn as George Clinton and was captured twice on record by blues label Flying Fish.

On Satan And Adam's third album for Flying Fish, Gussow's harp wails, warbles and weaves through Magee's hoarse but soulful vocals, deft guitar fingering and hi-hat footwork like a juke-joint sax at a Friday night fish-fry. Magee strains and scats on streetwise originals like "Sanctified Blues" and "I Got a Woman," and the duo funks up covers of "Ode to Billy Joe," the fast but phat "I'm a Girl Watcher" and a horn-enhanced rendition of "Proud Mary." "Living on the River" will take you down the Delta and up the Harlem River before disembarking at the Garden of Eden.

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