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Highway 61

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Album Review

A longtime Chicago blues institution, Sunnyland Slim purveyed his excellent brand of blues piano for half a century. However, he didn't record until the early '50s, when the tracks making up this album were laid down. Usually a sideman, when he stepped out on his own he was a great performer, as "It's You Baby" and the autobiographical "Down Home Child" testify. "Shake It Baby," a rhumba-rhythmed blues, shows some very blue colors in its lyrics, but remains fun. Listeners also get to hear a work in progress, with three takes of the title cut showing its development in the studio. "City of New Orleans" (not the '60s song) features some great tenor sax, but the highlights are when Slim and guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr. work together. They spark off each other brilliantly on "That Woman" and "Leaving Your Town," while the instrumental "Sunnyland Special" finds them pushing hard on a moody track. The shame is that Slim never completely received his due as a solo figure; he deserved it.


Born: 05 September 1907 in Vance, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Exhibiting truly amazing longevity that was commensurate with his powerful, imposing physical build, Sunnyland Slim's status as a beloved Chicago piano patriarch endured long after most of his peers had perished. For more than 50 years, the towering Slim had rumbled the ivories around the Windy City, playing with virtually every local luminary imaginable and backing the great majority in the studio at one time or another. He was born Albert Luandrew in Mississippi and received his early training...
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Top Albums and Songs by Sunnyland Slim

Highway 61, Sunnyland Slim
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  • £10.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music
  • Released: 24 February 2004

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