In 1981 the Climax Blues Band was located in Los Angeles, recording yet another album to meet the heavy demand for their musical aspirations. Lucky For Some featured, once again, the tightly knit line up of Peter Haycock on guitar and vocals, Colin Cooper on vocals and saxophone, Derek Holt on vocals, bass guitar and keyboards and John Cuffley on drums. By now, the band had been on the road for a decade or more and played with a telepathic sense of communication on these nine superb original LP tracks, including four Haycock originals. But the guys were also helped out in the studio by some distinguished guests, notably the late session keyboard player Nicky Hopkins and vocalist Glenn Hughes. Complete with a saucy album cover design, Lucky For Some has some hot performances like Peter's Shake It Lucy and Derek Holt's Breakdown , plus a bonus track Darlin (single version).
Chris Smither spent a fair chunk of time in the mid-2010s looking back, culminating in Still on the Levee, a two-disc set from 2014 that found the singer/songwriter revisiting songs he recorded in the past. Arriving four years later, Call Me Lucky functions as something of an answer to that aesthetic, finding the singer/songwriter living squarely in the present. He opens the album with the lively blues shuffle "The Blame's on Me," which is quickly followed by a minor-key rendition of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," and he effectively sets the pace for the rest of the album. As Call Me Lucky rolls on – the album proper is ten tracks, but there are six additional "B-Sides" featuring alternate takes of songs on the album, plus an introspective version of the Beatles' "She Said She Said" – Smither adds some slower, gentler touches (highlighted by the lovely "By the Numbers"), but he retains this same sense of immediacy. By playing so directly and simply – the album isn't unadorned, there are additional harmonies and guitars, yet it feels like it is – Chris Smither creates a bracing, intimate record, one that feels filled with earned truths.