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Live At Rooster's Lounge

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Album Review

As a rule, blues artists seldom follow up a live album with another live album; there are usually some studio albums between their live albums (assuming they aren't recording studio albums exclusively). But Tail Dragger is an exception. The Arkansas native/Chicago resident's 2005 recording, My Head Is Bald: Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge, received such a favorable response that Delmark made his next release, Live at Rooster's Lounge, another live album. Recorded in a Chicago club in 2009, this 68-minute CD is every bit as engaging as My Head Is Bald. Live at Rooster's Lounge isn't engaging because Tail Dragger does anything groundbreaking; greatly influenced by Howlin' Wolf (and, to a lesser degree, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters), Tail Dragger is unapologetically derivative. But he's derivative in the best sense of the word. Tail Dragger obviously lives and breathes the blues, and anyone who has a strong passion for the electric Chicago blues of the late '40s, '50s, and '60s couldn't help but be captivated by his inspired performances of original material as well as versions of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Keep It to Yourself," two Howlin' Wolf songs ("Louise" and "Ooh Baby, Hold Me"), and two Little Walter songs ("Blues with a Feeling" and "Everything Gonna Be Alright"). A lot of people who promote blues recordings or blues concerts have been much too quick to toss the term "low-down" around, but in the case of Tail Dragger, "low-down" really is applicable; throughout Live at Rooster's Lounge, he oozes grit and rawness — the sort of grit and rawness that so often characterized the Chess Records aesthetic in Chicago after WWII. Live at Rooster's Lounge is a consistently strong document of Tail Dragger on-stage., Rovi


Genre: Blues

Years Active:

Veteran singer James Yancey Jones, aka Tail Dragger, has been making his presence felt on the Chicago blues scene since the '60s. But like so many other bluesmen who specialize in electric Chicago blues and made their mark in the Windy City, Tail Dragger actually grew up in the Deep South. Tail Dragger was born on September 30, 1940 in Altheimer, AK, where he was raised by his grandparents and began listening to the blues as a kid. Although he appreciated a variety of blues when he was growing up...
Full bio
Live At Rooster's Lounge, Tail Dragger
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