SOUTHSIDE BLUES JAM
DELMARK RECORDS DE 628
STOP BREAKING DOWN–I COULD HAVE HAD RELIGION–JUST MAKE LOVE TO ME–LEND ME YOUR LOVE–LONG DISTANCE CALL–BLUES FOR MAYOR DALEY–IN MY YOUNGER DAYS–TROUBLE DON’T LAST
BONUS TRACKS–IT’S TOO LATE BROTHER–WARMIN’ UP–LOVE MY BABY–I COULD HAVE HAD RELIGION (ALT)–ROCK ME–LEXINGTON MOVIES–GOT TO PLAY THE BLUES
The fine folks at Delmark have done it again, this time with a reissue of Junior Wells’ “Southside Blues Jam.” After the success of “Hoodoo Man Blues” a few years before, Junior got into deals with some other labels that ultimately led to a series of lackluster efforts that lasted for three years. After he was free from those deals, he headed straight back “home” to Delmark, and the result was another gem in the annals of Chicago blues, “Southside Blues Jam.’ This reissue contains seven unreleased tracks as well.
This set also features Buddy Guy and Louis Myers on guitars, Fred Below on drums, Earnest Johnson on bass, and Otis Spann on piano. This would serve, sadly, as the last recordings from Otis. On this set, Junior is cool and relaxed, giving a performance almost like you’d hear at one of his live shows. He starts off with “Stop Breaking Down,” with Junior and Otis playing off each other perfectly. “Just Make Love To Me” and “Long Distance Call” are reminiscent of Junior’s days with Muddy, while “Lend Me Your Love” has Junior going toe-to-toe with his mother-in-law! “Blues or Mayor Daley” becomes a “who’s who” in the annals of Chicago blues, and the original set closes with Buddy on vocal on the slow-blueser, “Trouble Don’t Last.”
The unreleased tracks yield some interesting stuff. “Lexington Movies” is a humrous spoken-word tale that Junior tells on Louis Myers! “Love My Baby” is a killer stop-time story of his “big-hipped woman,” and Rock Me” is done in tribute to Muddy.
This set is as loose, raw, and powerful as anything Junior ever waxed. With this expanded edition of “Southside Blues Jam,” we get an even more intimate glimpse of the talents of this great harp man. Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.