Friday, May 04, 2012

Chicago Blues – The Fifties – part 2


Here we are back again with a second* installment of fifties Chicago blues. Featuring seven tunes from the early- to mid-fifties, we start out with Johnny Shines’ fabulous slide driven cover of Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues,” retitled “Ramblin’” followed by Little Walter’s second Checker single, the atmospheric “Mean Old World,” with a rhythm section made up of the Myers brothers, Louis and Dave, and Fred Below. Little Walter is followed by the full sound of Big Walter Horton’s “Hard Hearted Woman,” featuring a couple of tenor saxes in addition to Walter’s amplified harp. Jimmy Reed’s first record, from 1953, “High And Lonesome” has John Brim on guitar and possibly Albert King on drums. Little Walter makes another appearance playing harmonica on John Brim’s “Rattlesnake.” J. B. Hutto and His Hawks come crashing in with a primitive, Elmore James-derived “Dim Lights,” and we round out this playlist with eighteen year old Junior Wells and his classic “Hoodoo Man,” misspelled on the original label as “Hodo Man.”

Note: the links are dead on this post. Some of these tunes can now be found on a more recent series of posts: “Blues in Chicago—The Early Fifties.”


Photo: Union stockyards, Chicago, Illinois. July 1941. John Vachon/FSA/Library of Congress.

*Part 1 is here.

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