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Delmark (DE825)

Doin' Good And Bad At The Same Time, Darling I Miss You So, Strange Woman, Cell Phone Man, I Want My Baby, I Don't Know Why, Two Women Talking, Two Trains Running, The Love We Share, Going Down Main Street, Streamline Woman, What's The Matter With The Mill, Tow Truck Man, Tried To Work Something Out With You, My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble, I Wanna Talk To My Baby, Blow Wind Blow

Hardly prolific is our Willie. After performing as an uncompromising Chicago blues singer since the 1950s, prior to this new album he has only released one full album in his own name (2010's The Life I Love also on Delmark - see DE805), and that took some 30 years between being recorded and being released! 

So, this newly recorded album of traditional 50s style Chicago blues is a most welcome turn up for the books. Willie is a self-styled Muddy Waters fan and this is in evidence just by looking through the track-listing -  close on half the tracks here are either covers of Muddy songs or songs with which he has a strong association. 

While never going to be a torch-bearer for a new direction in blues, this is, on its own terms, a highly enjoyable and satisfying Chicago blues album, the likes of which too few are being made these days. Special thanks for this should go to the Rockin' Johnny Band who not only encouraged and coaxed Willie into this album but provide superb and authentic support across the seventeen tracks, with lots of whomping guitar, rasping harmonica play, and a rock-solid rhythm section that would have done any Chicago blues band of the fifties proud, Muddy's included.

The change of pace on the acoustic Two Trains Running is a nice touch but mostly its noisy, boisterous and rockin', just as we like it.

An excellent album all round, and well worth a listen, but don't expect a follow up - at this distance between recording (if not releasing) albums, Willie is not due to put out another until the year 2042!




Review Date: March 2013

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