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Live In Chicago

Big Jack Johnson

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Album Review

Mississippi bluesman Johnson comes North to play in Chicago and the results are indeed satisfying. Taken from two different shows at two different venues (Hothouse and Buddy Guy's Legends) over a period of two years ('94 and '95), Johnson is ably backed by Aaron Burton's band with Lester "Mad Dog" Davenport contributing some nice harp on the set from the Legends show. Johnson keeps the set lists jumping, from straight-ahead blues ("Sweet Sixteen," "Black Rooster," "Fightin' Woman," Z.Z. Hill's "The Blues Is Alright") to Mississippi-juke-joint dance numbers (Hank Ballard's "The Twist," "Night Train") and even the stray 'hillbilly blues' number like "Pistol Packin' Mama" and Ivory Joe Hunter's "Since I Met You Baby." Sound is dodgy in spots, but Johnson's palpable energy comes through just fine.

Biography

Born: 30 July 1940 in Lambert, MS

Genre: Blues

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

Contemporary Mississippi blues didn't get any nastier than in Big Jack Johnson's capable hands. The ex-oil truck driver's axe cut like a rusty machete, his rough-hewn vocals a siren call to Delta passion. But he was a surprisingly versatile songwriter; Daddy, When Is Mama Comin' Home, his ambitious 1990 set for Earwig, found him tackling...
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Live In Chicago, Big Jack Johnson
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