JUNIOR WELLS Southside Blues Jam.

Delmark Records.


If you’re a blues lover, then this is one recording you need to snuggle up to. This is the follow-up to Delmark’s Hoodoo Man Blues, recorded just after Christmas in 1969. This is also a chance to experience 15 performances by Chicago’s finest from a time when the city was still buzzing, blues-wise. To get the feel of this smartly packaged product, we need a quote from Bob Koester’s informative notes; “There seemed to be two kind of blues in Chicago: the mellow Mississippi-born Muddy-Wolf-Junior kind, which we called south side style. And then the stinging west side sounds of Magic Sam, Luther Allison, and Buddy Guy …” So here we have the south side in all its glory. And just look at the musicians. As well as Junior’s fine vocals and harmonica, we have the mighty Buddy Guy on seven tracks (and he takes the vocal on an eighth), the legendary Fred Below on drums, Otis Spann, no less, on piano, with further fine guitar from Louis Myers and Ernest Johnson’s bass underpinning it all. The production is warm and up close; it has that club feel. No tricks, no reverb, just half a dozen musicians in your front room. There’s a nod to Muddy Waters with Just Make Love To Me, echoes of Wolf with the moody Blues for Mayor Daley and two alternate takes of the truly mighty I Could Have Had Religion. This CD is a true classic; raw, powerful blues played in classic style by legendary masters.