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Blues on the Internet

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Album Review

Veteran blues pianist (and longtime Howlin' Wolf sideman) Emery Williams Jr. — known professionally as Detroit Junior — has had a renaissance of sorts in the past decade, releasing three albums on Blue Suit Records, and now this one, Blues on the Internet, on Delmark Records. Williams is a throwback to the classic Chicago blues piano style, and his warm, expressive vocals fall somewhere between a hoarse Ray Charles and a latter-day Bob Dylan, while his songwriting, although hardly innovative, is solid and workmanlike, avoiding most of the obvious blues clichés. His intent isn't to move blues into the 21st century so much as preserve the way it was played in Chicago in the 1950s (where Williams played alongside the likes of Jimmy Reed, Eddie Boyd, Eddie Taylor, and Little Mack Simmons), and he succeeds wonderfully on original tracks here like his signature tune, "Call My Job," "Money Crazy," and "Somebody Better Do Something," as well as a nice cover of Lowell Fulson's "Rockin' After Midnight." The disc also includes a Quicktime video of Williams, along with a short interview. Fans of vintage Chicago blues piano will find this collection a delight, while listeners looking for gutbucket electric guitar leads will be better served turning elsewhere.

Blues on the Internet, Detroit Jr.
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