Sunday, September 19, 2010

Junior Wells and the Aces "Live in Boston 1966"

(Delmark) This captivating live CD, capturing a previously unreleased, decades old Boston club set, is a profound treat for both worshipful and casual blues fans. Wells, the great harp player/vocalist, is such a magnificent performer that this really puts you in the room with the band, and it's amazing to be there. What comes across best on this disc, especially to any contemporary listeners who have been discouraged by what they've seen in some of Chicago's tourist blues, is that despite being the protoypical bluesman Wells never lowers himself to being the stereotypical bluesman. That is to say that despite plenty of stage banter, joking, and some improvisational messing around Wells is never pandering to the audience in a degrading way, and that despite playing now-standards like "Messin' with the Kid," "Got My Mojo Working," and Freddie King's "Hideaway," the band is never mired in  clichés   or phoning it in. Fans of Louis and Dave Myers will be delighted to hear their playing on this recording, and fans of Delmark's Junior Wells catalogue will find this essential.

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