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Come On In This House

Junior Wells

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Album Review

Junior Wells' penchant for clowning around sometimes conflicts with his craftsmanship, but he's all business on Come on in This House, his most unadulterated blues record since his highly acclaimed Hoodoo Man Blues of more than 30 years vintage. This is what has come to be known as an "unplugged" session — that is, predominately, although not exclusively, acoustic instrumentation. Producer John Snyder's concept was threefold: to team Wells with some of the era's top younger traditional blues guitarists — Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Sonny Landreth, Bob Margolin, and John Mooney; to have those musicians, in various combinations, accompany Wells on a variety of slide guitars; and to concentrate on vintage Chicago and Delta blues from the repertoires of Rice Miller, Little Walter, Tampa Red, Arthur Crudup, and Wells himself. The result is a virtual slide-guitar mini-fest and a demonstration of the timeless appeal of classic blues done well. Wells' vocals are deep and manly; his harp playing is high-pitched, like a child's pleading. A surprising highlight is the only contemporary tune on the disc, Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." New Orleans drummer Herman Ernest III, who appears on 11 of the 14 cuts, does a masterful job laying down understated rhythmic grooves.

Biography

Born: 09 December 1934 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

He was one bad dude, strutting across the stage like a harp-toting gangster, mesmerizing the crowd with his tough-guy antics and rib-sticking Chicago blues attack. Amazingly, Junior Wells kept at precisely this sort of thing for over 40 years; he was an active performer from the dawn of the '50s until his death in the late '90s. Born in Memphis, Wells learned his earliest harp licks from another future legend, Little Junior Parker, before he came to Chicago at age 12. In 1950, the teenager passed...
Full bio