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My Head Is Bald - Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge, Chicago

Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell & Tail Dragger

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Album Review

James Yancy Jones, known professionally as Tail Dragger, is on the radical edge of contemporary blues simply by not changing a thing since he first hit the Chicago blues scene from his native Arkansas in the 1960s. A Howlin' Wolf protégé, Jones has grown into his role as an elder statesman, and in an era when drums are processed and guitar leads are as much synthesizer as they are strings, his "just the old blues, thank you, Ma'am," approach is downright refreshing. My Head Is Bald, a live set from Vern's Friendly Lounge on Chicago's West side, is as comfy as a pair of old wool socks, and while Jones isn't particularly innovative — he still sounds like an ever-so-slightly polished-up version of the Wolf — his version of the blues is so familiar and devoid of flash that it feels lived in and real, and original songs like "Tend to Your Business" and "Prison Blues" seem like they've been around forever. A Tail Dragger show is predictable, but that's the charm of it. This is blues in the neighborhood bar. You wouldn't want it to sound any other way.

Biography

Born: 03 October 1951 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the '70s, harmonica man Billy Branch was one of the young upstarts helping to keep the Chicago blues sound alive; in the 21st century, he's matured into one of the Windy City's most venerable blues talents, and as a musician and educator, Branch has spread the word about the blues across the country and around the world. Branch has led the Sons of Blues, his backing band, since the mid-'70s, and despite numerous personnel changes, the SOBs have never wavered in their dedication to pure, unadulterated...
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My Head Is Bald - Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge, Chicago, Billy Branch
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