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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Junior Wells

Blues Brothers

Review by Gary Hill

If you are a fan of the blues, you have to know who Junior Wells was. He was blues royalty. This new collection takes his vocal and harmonica tracks (with the addition of harmonica from James Montgomery on some of the tunes) and uses those with newly recorded musical mixes featuring a wide array of guitarists. It's an interesting way to freshen up the songs and lend some new perspective to them while still paying to tribute to the man and legend. It's also just a great blues disc.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Blues Hit Big Town
Colin James provides the guitar on the opening piece. This killer electric blues number really rocks.
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
There is such a cool groove to this. The guitar player on this tune is none other than Pat Travers. The riff driving this is tasty, and I love the interplay between the harmonica and the guitar.
Messin' with the Kid
There is a bit of a funky groove to this thing. It reminds me of something James Brown might do. Tyler Bryant provides the guitar on this tune. This is a fun  tune with more of a rock and roll edge.
Baby, Scratch My Back
This has a bit of that funky edge. it also has some particularly fiery guitar work. That guitar is played by Albert Castiglia. The harmonica work on this is classic, too. This number just works so well. It's one of my favorites here.
Worried Life Blues
This powerhouse gritty slow blues number is on fire. It's another of the highlights here. Mike Zito plays guitar on this one.
When the Cat's Gone the Mice Play
A high energy tune featuring guitar by Harvey Mandel, this is another of the standouts of the disc. It is both classy and intense.
Lovey Dovey Lovely One
Eric Gales delivers the guitar on this song. The number has a ton of energy and a great blues vibe to it. There is a shuffling kind of rock and roll groove to this tune.
You Gotta Love Her with a Feeling
Kirk Fletcher is the guitarist on this. This has such a great old-school blues groove to it. I like this, but it's not a standout. That's how strong the music on this disc is.
Two-Headed Woman
Another smoking hot old-school blues grind, Guitar Shorty handles the guitar on this tune. This is another that features some great interplay between the guitar and blues harp.
Snatch It Back and Hold It
The guitarist on this one is Joe Louis Walker. A very traditional blues jam, this is very classy.
You Don't Care
This really has some passion and fire built into it. It's such a classic groove. Popa Chubby handles the guitar on the tune.
It's a Man Down There
A song that you might know from The Allman Brothers under the title "One Way Out," this is classy. Apparently "One Way Out" was the original title of the song when Elmore James recorded it. G. L. Crockett was the first person to record it under the title "It's a Man Down There" in 1965. History or no, this killer version features Bernard Allison on guitar and really works well.
Hoodoo Man Blues
This blues classic gets a killer telling here. Joe Louis Walker returns on lead guitar on this one.

 

 
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