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Album Review

Baby Face Leroy Foster's chronological recordings overlap and intersect nicely with those made by Muddy Waters during the late '40s and early '50s. Both men hailed from rural Mississippi. Foster made it to Chicago in 1945, two years after Muddy. Foster shows up on some of Muddy's Aristocrat recordings from 1948 and 1949. Muddy in turn participated in six of the nine sessions reissued here. While Muddy stuck with Aristocrat beyond the point in 1950 when it turned into Chess Records, Foster's recorded musical output landed on the Aristocrat, J.O.B., Regal, and Parkway labels. This interesting compilation of rare blues performances follows Leroy Foster's brief and sporadic career from November 1948 to 1952. Foster had a casual way of singing the blues, often busting out with gruff words of encouragement for his fellow musicians. These included, in addition to the equally outspoken Muddy Waters, harmonica men Snooky Pryor and Little Walter, guitarists Jimmy Rogers and Robert Jr. Lockwood, and pianist Sunnyland Slim. Foster also periodically switched from guitar to the drums. Foster made his own haunting, Blind Willie Johnson-potent recording of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" with Muddy and Little Walter in January 1950, one month before Muddy followed suit with his own righteous rendition. This amazing compilation is packed with the sort of undiluted Mississippi/Chicago blues that'll cut right through you like a hot knife through a butter lamb.


Born: 01 February 1923 in Algoma, MS

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '40s, '50s

As a charter member of the Headhunters, the brash crew that also included Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers (so named because of their penchant for entering nightclubs featuring other musicians and blowing them off the stage with their superior musicianship), "Baby Face" Leroy Foster was on hand to help develop the postwar Chicago blues idiom. Unfortunately, he wasn't around long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labors. The Mississippi native came to Chicago in 1945 in the star-crossed company of...
Full bio
1948-1952, LeRoy Foster
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