Monday, November 29, 2010

James Kinds "Love You From The Top"

Bluesman James Kinds was born in Mississippi in 1943. He moved to Chicago in 1959 and was a fixture in the blues and gospel scenes there until 1983, when he moved to Dubuque Iowa. But James' kept performing in Chicago and all over the MIdwest, and between 2004 and 2007 he made three indy cds with the All-Night Riders, and he was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. James's biggest career hit is a song called "Ada" which he recorded in the mid-'70s for Cloud 9 and it's still James' show-stopping closer which he sang at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival.

This is James' first major label cd, and it catches this veteran performer in superb form. Kinds wrote all the songs. Along with Kinds on vocals and guitar and Eddie Shaw on sax on four songs, the band includes Al Pool on guitar, Anthony Dotson on bass, and Claude L. Thomas on drums. Now if you happen to read liner notes like I do, you'll know that this is one hot band--Pool, Dotson and Thomas are all veterans of the Chicago blues, and they can each play the blues like ringing a bell, and Eddie Shaw is a legend, the long-time leader of the Howlin' Wolf Gang. So it is with a sense of anticipation that I dropped this one in the cd player, and this cd does not disappoint.

Things kick off with the title track, and wow, James Kinds can sing--he has maybe the best voice in the blues right now. The guitar work is spot-on, and everything is deep in the pocket, and Shaw blows a great solo. And it never drops off! Song after song, everything is sweet and strong and tasty. Kinds tells his story in "Mason Dixon Line Blues," and he does a humorous song about the perils of booze on "I Didn't Go Home" and he adds a gospel touch to the slow blues of "Take A Look At Yourself" and on "Johnny Mae" he brings forth another song as good as "Ada." Every note on this cd COOKS! On a normal CD there are 12 songs, and the last notes of "Johnny Mae" would be the end--but Kinds has been waiting too long to make this breakthrough to stop where everybody else might. He treats us to three more great songs, including "I Can't Take It" and "My Mama Told Me," and both of those songs are terrific. Every song on this cd is terrific.

A very fine release. You can buy this cd at

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