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Hoodoo Man Blues - Junior Wells

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Genre: Blues / Artist: Junior Wells / CD released 2008-10-31 at Delmark Records

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      06.06.2011 23:08
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      Classic must have blues album

      Whilst blues definitely has its fair share of gravelly type singers, it also has its fair share of smoother types. Junior Wells definitely has a somewhat more soul-like voice. Junior Wells was taught by the great Sonny Boy Williamson and began featuring in Chicago based bands in the early 50s, originally replacing Little Walter in Muddy Waters band due to his awesome harmonica playing. An accomplished singer to boot, it would not be until 1965 and the second wave of interest in blues music that he released his first LP with his Chicago Blues band featuring Buddy Guy.

      A lot of listeners often say that it's Buddy Guy's best work, that's a tough thing to call considering the great work he's come out with but it's definitely my favourite album by Junior Wells, some of the tracks are rather slow and run at a pace parallel to relaxed jazz or even modern day trip hop, a great example of this is "The Wee Hours" where every pluck of the guitar strings and breath on the harmonica is emphasised by the song's slow pace.

      Much later in the album "Yonder Wall" is somewhat more aggressive in both guitar playing and singing but retains a similar pace, on a modern day release you'd be finding filler tracks by the 12th track on the album but this happens to be one of my favourite tracks on the album and definitely talks volumes for the quality of the album.

      In some ways the album comes out like a giant jam due to the easy flow of harmonica and guitar combination, the artist seems to fly through classics like "Hey Lawdy Mama", the title-track "Hoodoo Man Blues" and the wonderfully upbeat "You Don't Love Me Baby".

      The album is a bit dearer than a lot of compilations of either artist but the sound quality is top notch and it's definitely a top notch blues album that's worth splashing out that little extra on, let's face it at £6.99, you don't need Abramovich's money to buy it.

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