Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

KIM WILSON

BLUES AND BOOGIE, VOL. 1

2017-11-05

In addition to his day job as leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, singer/harmonica master Kim Wilson has forged a solid solo career where he can focus on material that doesn’t naturally fit into the rocking blues of the T-Birds. This disc finds him paying homage to his influences. With Big Jon Atkinson, Nathan James and Billy Flynn on guitar, Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Richard Innes, Marty Dodson and Malachi Johnson on drums and Jonny Viau on horns providing back up over the 16 cuts he has collected here, Wilson has all the fire-power he needs to do it up right. While he skips straight interpretations in favor of capturing a raw, loose feel, he nevertheless does the masters proud. Sonny Boy Williamson gets a nod on "Ninety-Nine" and Little Walter gets double duty on "Teenage Beat" and "Blue and Lonesome". While Wilson’s harmonica often takes center stage Jimmy Reed’s "You Upset My Mind" features a slicing guitar duel between Atkinson and James that recalls the string work of former T-Bird Jimmie Vaughan and John Lee Hooker’s "Same Old Blues" gives Billy Flynn plenty of time to stretch out with some fine single note-picking. The disc also features a handful of Wilson originals, "Bonus Boogie", "Searched All Over", "Learn to Treat Me Right" and "Edgier" that fit right alongside the classics with plenty of harmonica gymnastics, growling vocals and raw-boned guitar. Recorded without modern studio gloss, this set sounds like a collection of single takes played more for fun than to cut any new ground and that’s just the point. Raw blues, done right. Bring on Volume 2! Smitty

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.