Elmore James Jr.

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Elmore James Jr.

Postby blueswriter » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:44 pm

More reviews coming all week. Please stay tuned... ;)

Elmore James Jr.
Daddy Gave Me The Blues
JSP (2008) JSP8809


14 tracks, 47 minutes. Excellent. Apparently, what we’re looking at and listening to with Daddy Gave Me The Blues is a true descendant of honest-to-goodness blues royalty; the son of the late, great Elmore James. How he stacks up against his now legendary father may be an immediate concern for potential fans, but one listen to this project should allay any hesitation. Earnest Johnson (Elmore Jr.) isn’t a straight knockoff of his dad, but he’s an acorn that didn’t fall too far from the tree either. Just what we’re hearing from him as a guitarist is a question that’s generally a bit confusing considering there are no less than four guitarists present here. Credits go to Cadillac Zack, Oakland Red, Little Linda and Elmore, Jr. as well, and figuring out who plays what and where means you‘ll need the session info handy while spinning this disc. However, with that being said, the guitar chores throughout are all handled in admirable fashion, whether it’s the slide heard in both the acoustic and electric versions of Going Back Home or the grinding slow blues, Mean Little Linda. As a vocalist, the spry 70-year old (at the time of this recording) is workmanlike and effective. In short, he’s not going to shake the rafters or peel paint from the walls of clubs like his father, but he’s definitely solid and enjoyable, if unspectacular. Song selection consists of a pair of originals from Junior (Don‘t Get Mad/Steppin‘), another pair contributed by Cadillac Zack (Nora Mae/Daddy Gave Me The Blues), along with a few tired warhorses (Tore Down/See See Rider) and a couple of gems in the form of Cummins Prison Farm and The Misfit. The rhythm section pairs Steve Mugalian's in-the-pocket drums with bass players Rick Reed and Jeff Turmes. Although he has been somewhat known around the Chicago scene since the early 1960s, Elmore James Jr. had done little to cement his reputation as a bluesman. Hopefully, Daddy Gave Me The Blues will be the much-needed kick-start to his somewhat late career. Special mention goes to Cadillac Zack Slovinsky for his tireless efforts helping to promote and preserve blues. And as mentioned in previous reviews of other JSP products, the label’s website is about as close as one wants to get to a disaster from a design standpoint - finding what you're looking for can be an exercise in exasperation.


© 2010 by Craig Ruskey
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