Saturday, February 19, 2011

Junior Wells & the Aces "Live in Boston 1966"

This Delmark release is a showcase for Junior Wells & the Aces as a FABULOUS live act. Junior Wells on vocals and harp, Fred Below on drums, and the Myers brothers Louis on guitar and Dave on bass--this is a great band, a band of professionals, and they play for an hour, bringing to the concert stage a dozen songs, and every one is a gem. The result is simply awesome. If you love the blues you need this cd in your collection just as a historical document--but it's a lot more than that. I think Fred Below is the best drummer Chicago ever produced, and Junior Wells belongs on the short list of the greatest harp players of all time. Here you get the chance to hear these great musicians at their peak, making the music they love. The set list is tremendous, including "Messin' With The Kid," "Look On Yonder's Wall," "Worried Life Blues," and "If You Gonna Leave Me." And Delmark smartly leaves in the between songs banter--the set is studded with Junior Wells' personality. And the whole set is covers. Please notice that Junior didn't write a single song here--all he does is play them all with passion and fire and power.

You end up wishing you were there. Many thanks to Delmark for putting this one out. l dream of hearing a similar set by Magic Sam and his band. Does that exist in a tape vault somewhere?

You can buy this at But when you do, go ahead and buy Junior Wells' "Southside Blues Jam" like I did. I know you've already got "Hoodoo Man Blues." Simply great music, and essential to every blues lover. You know, one of these days I should put together on this blog The Essential Blues Recordings-- according to Bruce.

1 comment:

C. Michael Bailey said...


I am listening more and more to this older stuff, bootlegs and archival releases. This Jr. Wells sounds like the ticket!