IT AIN’T RIGHT
DELMARK RECORDS DE 841
BIG MONEY PROBLEM–WILL I EVER FIND SOMEBODY–SNAGGLETOOTH MULE–LONG AS YOU’RE MINE–HARD HEARTED WOMAN–MY HEART IS HANGIN’ HEAVY–CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY–A STRING TO YOUR HEART–ROCK AWHILE—STAND BY ME—SURROUNDED–I KNOW YOU HEAR ME CALLIN’–IT AIN’T RIGHT–MESSIN’ WITH THE KID–WADE IN THE WATER
Venerable Chicago bluesman Jimmy Burns made his Delmark debut back in 1996 with “Leavin’ Here Walkin,” and triumphantly returns to the spotlight with his fifth set for Delmark, “It Ain’t Right.” Over the course of these fifteen tracks, Jimmy lays down some fine authentic Chicago blues, as well as several cuts in the soul-blues vein that allows his smooth, stylish vocal delivery to shine. Producer Dick Shurman took full advantage of Jimmy’s immense talents, making this another set of blues the way they oughta be played.
Billy Flynn wrote the leadoff cut, a driving shuffle about living in today’s world, where everybody has “Big Money Problems.” Billy Branch’s piano man, Ariyo Ariyoshi adds tasty keys, too. Jimmy plays the lover trying to stay ahead of the game by going to see his “hoodoo man,” in the minor-key, West-Side-flavored “Snaggletooth Mule.”
Jimmy’s right at home on the soulful cuts, too. The horn section drives the story of true love, “As Long As You’re Mine,” while “Crazy Crazy Crazy” and “Stand By Me” recall vintage Fifties’ doo-wop. Jimmy blows some low down harp on “A String To Your Heart,” and Roosevelt Purifoy gets down on some organ along with Ariyo on piano on “I Know You Hear Me Calling.”
The set closes with three true classics, done in different-than-usual ways. Little Walter’s “It Ain’t Right” has fluid guitar lines as a substitute for the harp. “Messin’ With The Kid” is presented by Jimmy as a slowed-down sho’ nuff funk fest. And, he takes us all to church with the traditional gospel of “Wade In The Water.”
We had two favorites, too. Goree Carter’s “Rock Awhile” has Jimmy playing some fine roadhouse, stop-time guitar boogie over Ariyo’s piano. And, the other Billy Flynn original is a powerful soul-blues cut entitled “Will I Ever Find Somebody?” The horn section sweetens things up, and Jimmy’s vocal has a Sam Cooke feel, as he takes this one to a testifyin’ climax.
Jimmy Burns stays true to his blues roots with this outstanding collection. Enjoy “It Ain’t Right” from this down-home blues master! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.