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The Parrot Sessions

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Album Review

With his exuberant and edgy high-pitched vocals, coupled with a sharp, literate writing style, J.B. Lenoir had as singular a vision of the blues as anyone who ever worked in the genre. What is perhaps his best work was done for the Parrot label in 1954 and 1955, sessions that yielded many of his finest songs. Working with twin saxes and the "loose as a goose" drumming style of Al Galvin, Lenoir held everything together with his driving rhythm guitar, sounding a bit like Jimmy Reed on too much coffee. The songs, though, were the real stars, and his "Eisenhower Blues," "Mama, Talk to Your Daughter," and "I'm in Korea" set high-water marks for honesty, humor, and political acumen that marked his compositions as a thoroughly modern and innovative version of the blues. One wishes that more players had followed his lead.


Born: March 5, 1929 in Monticello, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Newcomers to his considerable legacy could be forgiven for questioning J.B. Lenoir's gender upon first hearing his rocking waxings. Lenoir's exceptionally high-pitched vocal range is a fooler, but it only adds to the singular appeal of his music. His politically charged "Eisenhower Blues" allegedly caused all sorts of nasty repercussions upon its 1954 emergence on Al Benson's...
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The Parrot Sessions, J.B. Lenoir
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