Personnel: Johnny Copeland (vocals, guitar); John Liebman, Richie Fiegler, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joel Perry, Jimmy Hyacinthe, Ken Pino (guitar); Brooklyn Slim (harmonica); George Adams (soprano & tenor saxophones); Joe Rigby (alto, tenor & baritone saxophones); Byard Lancaster (alto & tenor saxophones); Sam Furnace (alto & baritone saxophone); Kotti Assale (alto saxophone); Greg Alper, Arthur Blythe, Bert McGowen (tenor saxophone); John Pratt, Ben Bierman, Yusef Yancey (trumpet); Garrett List, Bill Ohashi, George Lewis (trombone); Ken Vangel (piano); Anthony Brown (organ); Don Whitcomb, Michael Merritt, Brian Miller (bass); Candy McDonald, Jimmy Wormworth (drums); Michael Finlayson, Halial, Jean Claude Kungnon (percussion).
Engineers include: Michael Finlayson, Joe Arlotta, Emile Valognes.
Recorded at Blank Tapes and Unique Recorders, New York, New York & JBZ Studios, Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Includes liner notes by Fred Schruers & Fred Goodman.
Personnel: Johnny Copeland (vocals, guitar); John Leibman, Joel Perry, Jimmy Hyacinthe, Malina, Stevie Ray Vaughan (guitar); Brooklyn Slim (harmonica); George Adams (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Joe Rigby (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Byard Lancaster (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Sam Furnace (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Kotti Assale, Arthur Blythe (alto saxophone); Bert McGowan, Greg Alper (tenor saxophone); Yusef Yancey, Ben Bierman, John Pratt, Youseff Yancy (trumpet); Emmett King, Bill Ohashi, George Lewis , Garrett List (trombone); Ken Vangel (piano); Anthony Browne (organ); Julian Vaughan, Candy McDonald, Jimmy Wormworth, Jimmy Warmworth (drums); Halial, Jean Claude Kungnon, Souliman Moamed, Michael Finlayson (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Dominque Samarcq.
Liner Note Authors: Fred Goodman; Fred Schruers.
Recording information: Blank Tapes, New York, NY; JBZ Studios, Abidjan, Ivory Coa; JBZ Studios, Adidjan, Ivory Coast; Unique Recorders, New York, NY.
Photographer: Deborah Feingold.
Arranger: Ken Vangel.
This is an excellent sampler of Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland's tenure at Rounder Records. Drawn from Copeland's first four Rounder releases, the material is, for the most part, straightforward electric blues, showcasing Copeland's passionate, raw-throated vocals and prodigious talents as an axe-slinger. On all of these sessions, Copeland is backed by an energetic band, with lots of horns adding fat, brash punctuation. Special guests also dot the personnel list, including avant-garde jazz saxophonist Arthur Blythe, who plays a solo on "Copeland Special," and fellow Texas guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, who has a blistering spot on "Don't Stop By the Creek, Son."
In addition to fine servings of traditional down-home blues from Copeland's initial three Rounder releases, all of which showcase his stinging, superbly executed leads, TEXAS TWISTER includes three cuts from BRINGIN' IT ALL BACK HOME, an album Copeland recorded in Africa. Unlike anything else recorded in the blues idiom, these tracks superimpose blues licks from the American South over a rich web of African percussion and Afro-pop textures. These tracks offer a pleasant and intriguing contrast to the more conventional blues fare featured, and suggest that Copeland had a flair for experimentation in addition to his mastery of traditional electric blues.