Willie Buck review…March 8, 2019….

WILLIE BUCK

WILLIE BUCK WAY

DELMARK RECORDS  DE 857

YOU WANT ME TO TRUST YOU–ALL I’M DOIN’ IS THINKING OF YOU–BOTTOM OF THE HILL–I GOT YOU AND YOU GOT ME–CAN’T SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT ME–THERE’S A WOMAN–MY MIND FROZE UP–CRAWLIN KING SNAKE–I GIVE SO MUCH TO YOU–HECK OF A TIME–THE MEN OUGHT TO LEARN TO TREAT THE WOMEN RIGHT–PLEASE HAVE MERCY–LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE–WILLIE BUCK WAY–TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN–BLUES BEFORE SUNRISE–I’D RATHER LOVE YOU

Everybody’s favorite “Cell Phone Man,” Chicago blues legend Willie Buck, is back with his first set since 2012, a robust seventeen cuts that add up to “Willie Buck Way” for Delmark Records.  There are twelve originals and well-done covers from Muddy, Leroy Carr, and others.  The backing crew is just as stellar, including Billy Flynn and Thaddeus Krolicki on guitars, Johnny Iguana and Big Spider Back on keys, Bob Stroger on bass, Jimmi Maye on drums, and three killer harpoon men–Scott Dirks, Mervyn “Harmonica” Hinds, and the aforementioned Big Spider Back.

Willie has a surprisingly-powerful upper-register vocal delivery, and he’s been bringing these blues to his fans ever since he hit big town back in ’53.  There are plenty of highlights, too, starting off with Willie’s original, “You Want Me To Trust You, but I don’t know what you want me to do!”  It’s embellished by Scott’s harp and Johnny’s piano, too!  Willie’s “women problems’ continue with “I Give So Much To You, why don’t you act right?”  “Meet me at the Bottom Of The Hill” revisits the “Cell Phone Man” theme, while Willie offers up some sage advice over Billy’s cool guitar, “The Men Ought To Learn To Treat The Women Right.”  The band cooks with gas on one of our favorites,  Willie’s ode to the honorary street named for him, “Willie Buck Way,” while our other favorite is a nod to his Delta roots.  Willie was born near Tupelo, MS, in Houston, MS,  and Thaddeus’ acoustic guitar and harp from Harmonica Hinds take Willie back down home with “My Mind Froze Up.”

Willie Buck is one of the scant few remaining bluesmen who got their careers started during the heyday of the Fifties who is still standing, performing, and relevant today.  Take a spin down “Willie Buck Way” and hear this legend for yourself!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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