Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Byther SMITH - Mississippi Kid 1996
True blues from guitarist who once played with Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Howlin' Wolf & many other blues greats.
The 1996 release Mississippi Kid sounds like it could have been released a quarter-century or more before, which is a compliment. Bracingly free of the rockist clichés that bog down so many latter-day blues albums, Mississippi Kid is solid Chicago-style blues, with Smith's guitar and vocals supported by two organists and a full horn section. Presented as a sort of musical autobiography, with the personal title track ending the album as a kind of summation, the album dusts off a couple of Smith's earlier hits, most notably a slow, gripping version of his signature song, "Give Me My White Robe," and the playful shaggy-dog story "Blues on the Moon," given a suitably light-hearted and sly treatment. Smith is in excellent voice throughout and his playing is as fine as always, making Mississippi Kid a late highlight in his long and sometimes underappreciated career.
By Stewart Mason. AMG.
Nobody does low-down, deep blues like Byther Smith. At times his guitar playing invites B.B. King comparisons, but Byther is lonelier, edgier, tougher and more personal. Byther's blues cut. "President's Daughter," "Blues on the Moon," "Give Me My White Robe," (harrowing, that; who else packs such a wallop singing about getting ready to die?), "Runnin' to New Orleans" and "Monticello Lonely" are standouts. Two or three cuts are weak, but that's a minor quibble on a very fine Chicago/Mississippi/Delta electric blues record.
By Tim Weber.
Personnel: Byther Smith (vocals, guitar); Jeff "Junkyard" Jozwiak (guitar); Sonny Seals (tenor saxophone); Malachi Thompson (trumpet); Steve Berry (trombone); Bob "The Hoosier Hawk" Hecht (piano, organ); Jessie Lockridge (organ); James Knowles (drums).
01. Judge Of Honor 4:39
02. Don't Hurt Me No More 6:30
03. President's Daughter 3:18
04. Living In Pain 5:44
05. Ashamed Of Myself 5:30
06. I Don't Know Where You Go 5:41
07. Blues On The Moon 4:49
08. Your Daughter Don't Want Me No More 4:06
09. Give Me My White Robe 5:48
10. Runnin' To New Orleans 3:26
11. Cora, You Made A Man Out Of Me 4:33
12. Monticello Lonely 5:09
13. Mississippi Kid 4:50