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Too Hurt to Cry

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Album Review

There's little newness anyone should expect to hear on a contemporary blues record. The only thing that makes them valuable is if the performer has their own notion of the blues and can state it in a distinctive manner. Willie Kent certainly can; his mournful, often powerful vocals are frequently memorable, even when he's mining the reliable formula of heartache and anguish. If his compositions aren't lyrically transcendent, Kent's rendering of the words elevates them. You never tire of hearing him sing, and he makes you feel and believe his messages, even as his backing band plugs in familiar progressions and lines behind him. Indeed, it's only when Kent covers someone else's music that things become less interesting.


Born: 24 February 1936 in Sunflower, MS

Genre: Blues

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

The preeminent Chicago blues bassist of the postwar era, Willie Kent was the city's last surviving link to the Mississippi Delta tradition, backing a who's who of immortals including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and Junior Parker as well as fronting his own long-running band, the Gents. Born in Inverness, MS, on February 24, 1936, Kent was the product of a sharecropping family, and was enlisted to pick cotton at the age of six. While local musician Dewitt Munson afforded his first exposure to the...
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Too Hurt to Cry, Willie Kent
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