Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story

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Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story

Postby blueswriter » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:17 pm

Various Artists
Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story
Delmark (2010) DE 808


16 tracks, 63 minutes. Highly recommended. While the mid-1980s weren’t necessarily a high point for blues music, Chicago guitarist Jimmy “Fastfingers” Dawkins was issuing some mighty fine examples on his Leric label. Recorded between 1982 and 1987, fourteen of the disc’s sixteen tracks are potent modern blues featuring a small handful of stalwarts who deserved far more recognition than they ever received. Comprised mostly of 45 RPM singles along with a couple unissued gems, everything here is a reminder of the level of talent in the Windy City just a few short decades ago. Little Johnny Christian’s four titles are superb and separately showcase the impressive guitar skills of Michael Coleman, Vance Kelly and Chico Banks. The bristling New Life with its choppy horn chart and the funky Luv Somebody are superb, as is I Ain’t Gonna Worry About Tomorrow, a slow burner with crisp guitar, and the rocking I Gotta Sad Feeling. Taildragger’s two contribution’s, So Eze and My Head Is Bald show off both his Wolf-like voice and some fine harp from Eddie “Jewtown” Burks. Queen Sylvia (Embry) was another sadly under-recorded artist, as her I Know I Ain’t Number One and Too Bad Baby amply display. She had a highly individual singing style, possessed of a booming voice with a shimmering vibrato, and her bass playing was always effective. Jimmy Dawkins’ guitar efforts here are also worth mentioning, with his blistering approach well to the fore. Of Vance Kelly’s trio, all previously unissued until now, Use What You Got and Why You Hurt Me So Bad are both solid blues, while The Jam is an unspectacular workout with annoying keyboards and squealing sax. Nora Jean (Bruso), Big Mojo Elem and Lady Margo are also featured with Lady Margo’s My God Is Real and Peace Be Still, featuring a soul-stirring choir. Although the mid-to-late-1980s may not have been booming times for blues music, we can be thankful that Jimmy Dawkins saw the obvious talent among this gathering of Chicagoans. While the names might not be those of respected giants that we all know and love, the music compiled here provides a wonderful look at a few who were carrying the torch at the time.


© 2010 by Craig Ruskey
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