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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jimmy McCracklin


Review by Gary Hill

Have you heard of Jimmy McCracklin? Well, he was a musician plying his trade for decades. Over the course of that time he produced a lot of great music that was based around blues, soul, jazz and rock and roll. I have to say that I like his stuff presented here a lot. It's some of the most consistently strong stuff from this time period for me. Just like most Bear Family releases, this is a great package including a large and informative booklet.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Gonna Tell Your Mother
Blues and jazz merge on this number. I dig the harmonica on the tune. The backing vocals don't work as well for me. This piece does rock, though.
The Walk
The cool groove on this is so tasty. As strong as the previous number was, this is so much better. There is still plenty of jazz and blues in the mix. The cut is just seriously elevated.
Take Care Of Yourself
I dig this classy little rocker a lot. It's so strong.
Rockin' All Day aka Reelin' And Rockin'
Combining the sounds we've heard before with something like Chuck Berry, this is another real winner.
I Know
I dig the groove and riff of this little number. It's a lot of fun. 
The Wobble
This song has a driving energy and a lot of charm and cool. It's a great number.
He Knows The Rule
Here's another with a healthy helping of Chuck Berry stitched onto the main musical concepts of the set.
Give My Heart A Break
I love the piano and horn on this number. The song has a great groove to it. It's so strong.
Everybody Rocks (New Orleans Beat)
Another with Chuck Berry merged with the other concepts, I really love the guitar solo on this number.
Gotta Cut Out
With a great energy and some classy piano work, this is fun stuff.
Let's Do It (Chicken Scratch)
With lots of energy and fun on the menu, this isn't a big change, but it's very effective.
Susie And Pat
Bombastic, rocking and so classy, this elevates things. It's the kind of thing that's designed to get you up and grooving.
That's The Way (It Goes)
While not slow by any means, this is less driving as the previous number. It's no less tasty and classy.
Get Tough
I dig this rocking little groove. The hooks and vibe on this are so potent.   
Looking For A Woman
Another killer tune, this isn't a big change, but it grooves well.
What's Your Phone Number
Classic rock and roll is on the menu here with plenty of jazz in the mix.
Come On
A slower, but no less inspired and catchy, groove is the order of business here. This track really works so well. I'd consider it one of the highlights of the disc.
Georgia Slop
There is a bit of a hoedown edge to this. That's combined with some rock and roll and jazz.
One Track Love
Hooks, jazz stylings and a great groove merge on this number. It's no big departure from the rest here, but it works particularly well.
I'm To Blame
There is a killer bluesy vibe here. The horns are great, but the whole song just really rocks.
Steppin' Up In Class
The old rock and roll sound on this is classic. This is another standout of the set.
Country Baby
This is a fun song, but not a standout. There is both rock and roll and jazz at play here.
Savoy's Jump
Here we get a driving tune with more of that Chuck Berry sort of thing along with healthy helpings of jazz. I love just about everything about this song.
Just Won't Let Her Go
A boogie-woogie piano line is a big part of this cut. The track is a rocking little number that works so well.
Jazzy, bluesy angles with some rock and roll added to the mix is the concept here. This is so classy and really grooves.
Get Back
This has a definite rock and roll thing at play. I dig the hooks, the guitar fills and just about everything about the song.  
A slower rock and roll groove, this is fun stuff. It's another standout.
Just Got To Know

This is really a full-on blues song. It is so classic. I'd also consider this to be one of the highlights here.

I Wanna Make Love To You

This features a killer horn arrangement and some seriously rocking piano. It's a powerhouse number.

I'm Through

Another energized and rocking little groove, this is so much fun. It's a great way to end the set.

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