J.B, HUTTO: Look On Yonders Wall, Two Headed Woman, You Sure Hurt Me Bad, Hip Shakin’, Screamin’ And Crying, Shake Rattle & Roll, Howling Wolf Blues
JOHNNY LITTLEJOHN: What In The World, Can’t Be Still, Bloody Tears
A re-issue of a little-known recording session from one of the great Chicago slide guitarists of the post-war era is bound to spike the interest of committed Red Lickers. That it is such a beauty makes it a cause for real celebration.
Little information is provided, or presumably known, on the details of this session, so don’t worry your pretty little head over just where and when it was recorded or who is in the hot little band backing the great man. Just sit back and marvel once again at all those elements that make Mr Hutto so utterly irresistible. These are of course the garbled, barely comprehensible, vocal delivery and his trademark slashing and piercing electric slide. On a well-balanced set, that demonstrates his mastery of both the slow, burning blues and wig-out rockers, this is a splendid addition to the recorded legacy of a genuine blues great. The sound is great, the band are exemplary and the material is top-notch.
But, if you are a quantity as well as quality merchant and are likely to (wrongly) feel short-changed that this only comprises seven new-to-CD Hutto recordings, there are three bonus tracks by another Chicago slide great, Johnny Littlejohn, that are just peachy. What In The World is a minor masterpiece, sounding like peak-period Otis Rush as if backed by a band led by Earl Hooker. The (mostly) instrumental Can’t Be Still is a funky confection that rocks along rather nicely before Bloody Tears closes the album strongly in the style of slide-guitar supremo, Elmore James. As with the Hutto session, details are sketchy about where these Littlejohn tracks come from, but they sure are good.
An excellent and unexpected bonus for committed fans of J.B. Hutto, this CD is also a pretty good place to start for those not already familiar with his work. And, just to pile good news on top of good news, Delmark will shortly be re-issuing his classic late-1960s album Hawk Squat, becoming the latest in a growing (and impressive) series of re-mastered, expanded editions of the label’s back catalogue.
Review Date: March 2015