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iTunes Review

Recorded when Buddy Guy and Junior Wells were still known as two of Chicago’s finest sidemen, Hoodoo Man Blues thrust the pair into the spotlight and marked a turning point for Chicago blues. Up to this point, Chess Records was the dominant influence on the local scene, and recordings of all the greats were often compromised by the regulations and unabashedly commercial intentions of Leonard Chess. Bob Koester — a blues nut who founded Delmark Records and ran the Blues Record Mart — intended Hoodoo Man Blues as the antidote to Chess’s regulations. Koester wanted to capture on record how electric blues was felt and played in South Side clubs, and in that mission, this album is entirely successful. There is exceptional weight and dignity to these recordings. Every instrument is captured with total clarity. Wells and Guy give the album its bite, but special mention should be made of bassist Jack Myers and drummer Billy Warren, one of the leanest, stickiest rhythm sections every put on record. This album should be experienced front-to-back, like a nightclub set, but you’ll want extra time with “In the Wee Hours,” “Chitlin Con Carne” and “Hoodoo Man Blues.”

Customer Reviews

Desert Island Disc

It boogles the mind, how a blues fan, especially a fan of Junior Wells, could give this album a two star rating. Junior and Buddy are at their best along with Willie Dixon on bass. Musically, what could go wrong? Nothing. The band plays lean and mean allowing Junior to "smoke" on his harp. The album is recorded in digital sound, which gives it a crisp and clean sound. This is one disc of ten discs I would have with me if I was stranded on a desert island. Here's to you Junior, I'm playing these songs for you, baby.

Definitive, energetic, and wonderfully executed blues

Listening to Junior Wells' exasperated and sexual utterings of "Snatch it back .. . . . and hold it..." reminds you that the blues are meant to make you feel good. Buddy Guy's guitar playing is solid, the band is fluid all around (can't blame them for rushing the ends of songs - they're excited) ...& Junior Wells is an unbelievable harp player. The amount of energy and soul put in to this recording is evident and it is difficult not to get up and move around a bit. Unless you're bored by the blues, this album is anything but tedious.

The Best I've Heard...

As a long-time Blues fan, I don't think I have any Blues album that is as good as this one. Although recorded in 1966, it's as fresh as yesterday; and regardless of its vintage, THIS is the Blues album of choice if you're just starting out. For over 10 years I've been playing this album to my kids and they are now aware of Junior Wells's influence on the whole lot of American Blues. "Good Morning Schoolgirl" has been done by -- how many? -- other groups, but this one here is the BEST. And if you like to play the harp, Jr. Wells is the Master. I sat with Junior during a break at his gig at The Belly Up in 1995 (San Diego), and he was pleased to hear that his harmonica-playing was my goal: Happy and ragged, spot-on and Chicago-style, stretched and streamlined, spot-on. Since his death, the harp world has not been the same. A TRUE 5 STARS.

Hoodoo Man Blues, Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band
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Customer Ratings