Whiskey is a 1977 LP re-issue of the 1974 album Way Down Yonder. Presumably, the album was re-named and marketed in 1977 to capitalize on the popularity of the country rock and outlaw country genres. Whiskey, however, quickly disappeared into obscurity only to re-surface as a long overdue CD reissue on the outstanding Wounded Bird Records in 2008. Because of these circumstances and its long absence from print, Whiskey is somewhat of a "lost" Charle Daniels Band album.
Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, a truism that's brought into sharp relief by the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, the group's saxophonist, died in 2008, something that shook the DMB to their core and they've responded as any working band does: by carrying on, playing gigs – including one on the day of his passing – and finishing the album they were recording at the time of his death, turning Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King into a tribute to their fallen comrade. By saluting his spirit, DMB wind up returning to their roots, jettisoning any of the well-manicured crossover pop of Stand Up and reviving the loose-limbed jams that were their '90s specialty, a sound they've largely abandoned – at least on record – since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets. During that long, long decade between Before and Big Whiskey, DMB remained one of America's biggest bands even though much of those ten years found Matthews working through various existential crises – things got too big so he pulled away from the band, turned out a dark solo record, then came back – and his namesake band drifted along with him. Here, everything snaps back into focus: what was glossy is now clean and unvarnished; there is no avoidance of their rangy, loping rhythms or predilection for elastic solos; and these signatures – shunned on record, not on-stage – are embraced warmly, given muscle, and married to the dark undercurrents that have flowed throughout Matthews' new-millennium writing.
In 2001, Collectables released Live at the Whisky A Go Go/Mississippi Gambler, which combined a pair of original Atlantic LPs – Live at the Whisky A Go Go (1968) and Mississippi Gambler (1972) – by Herbie Mann on one compact disc.
Although he had been playing for years, it wasn't until the 1990s that R.L. Burnside's raw electrified Delta blues were heard by a wide audience. His new fans celebrated his wild, unbridled energy, so it made sense for him to team with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the warped indie rock band that's all about energy. However, the very purists who celebrate Burnside hate Spencer, believing that the latter mocks the blues. As the blistering Ass Pocket of Whiskey proves, Spencer may not treat the blues with reverence, but he and his band capture the wild essence of juke-joint blues. And that makes them the perfect match for Burnside, who knows his history but isn't burdened by it. Together, Burnside and the Blues Explosion make raw, scintillating, unvarnished blues that positively burns.