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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Cleopatra Records artist: Junior Wells - Blues Legend - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Legend, by Junior Wells, and it's terrific. This is a compilation of vintage singles from the 50's and 60's and includes the entire gamut. Opening with Cut That Out, Junior Wells trademark harp sound is front and center with his vocal, joined by Johnny Jones on piano, Louis Myers on guitar, Dave Myers on bass and Odie Payne on drums. Excellent! Well's most notable track, Hodo Man (HooDoo Man) is on deck with Wells paired with Elmore James on his infamous slide guitar. Early In the Morning features the great Otis Spann on piano pushing Wells to the limit with Muddy Waters on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass  and Odie Payne on drums... What a lineup! On Lawdy! Lawdy! Wells harp seems to float on air, Spann on piano is excellent and of course the entire band really rocks. Syl Johnson adds guitar flair to Two Headed Woman over an active bass line by Dave Myers.  Slow blues, I Could Cry is a really great single with strong vocals by Wells and excellent guitar lead by Johnson. Lafayette Leake on piano really adds nicely to this classic with the mighty Earl Hooker on guitar. Another great Wells track pairs him with Earl Hooker and Leake on piano. This is a classic jam and one not to miss. Another of Wells' most loved tracks, Messin With The Kid features Hooker and Leroy Gibson on guitar, Jarrett Gibson and Donald Hankins on sax, Fred Bellow on drums. Classic! Hooker pulls out the slide on I'm A Stranger, adding a real nice tension against Leake on piano and Johnny Walker on organ, Bobby Little on drums and Earnest Johnson on bass. Boogie track I Need Me A Car, features Hooker on guitar, Johnny Walker on organ and cool vocals by Wells. The rest of the players are unknown. Wrapping the release is a swinging cover of What's I Say with Wells on vocal, Little Brother Montgomery on piano, Otis Rush on guitar, Jack Myers on bass, and Fred Below on drums. This really is an excellent set and if you don't have the full Wells catalog you need this one! 

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