Saturday, October 31, 2009
Johnie LEWIS - Alabama Slide Guitar 1970
Country blues artist Johnie Lewis was born on a farm near Eufaula, Alabama but spent much of his life playing at various small clubs around Chicago. His accomplished style was influenced by favorites such as Tampa Red, Barbecue Bob and Blind Lemon Jefferson. This CD presents a selection of heartfelt tunes by a truly authentic musician.
“... a well rounded performance built around singing, well-integrated guitar lines, solid, original tunes and a forceful vocal delivery.”
By Nick Crews.
Johnie Lewis was a decent, if unexceptional, singer and guitarist in the Southern rural style, particularly accomplished at playing slide. Though he was born in Alabama and grew into adulthood in Georgia, Lewis spent most of his life in Chicago, moving the city in the 1930s. A painter by profession, Lewis only pursued music as an avocation, but through one of his painting jobs, he came to the notice of a filmmaker doing a documentary about Chicago blues. His appearance in that film lead to recording sessions for Arhoolie in the early '70s.
Eighteen songs recorded by Lewis in 1970 and 1971. If Lewis were one of the few practitioners of the Southern country slide blues guitar, this would be an important document. But the fact is that because there are so many similar performers in the style who recorded more prolifically and with greater imagination, it's just a solid journeyman entry in the field. Lewis does have an affable storytelling manner to his songwriting, and gets in some nifty laidback slide licks; a couple of the more ambitious tunes were inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King.
By Richie Unterberger, AMG.
Charlie Musselwhite- (Harmonica),
John Lewis- (Guitar),(Harmonica),(Kazoo),(Vocals).
01. Hobo Blues 4:31
02. He Met Me on Thursday Morning 3:53
03. Uncle Sam Ain't No Woman 3:45
04. Can't Hardly Get Along 2:56
05. My Little Gal 3:57
06. North Carolina Blues 3:46
07. I'm Gonna Quit My Baby 3:34
08. Baby, Listen To Me Howl 4:26
09. You Gonna Miss Me (about Dr. Martin Luther King) 2:31
10. Mistake in Life (Handsome Stranger) 2:55
11. I Got to Climb a High Mountain (about Dr. Martin Luther King) 3:14
12. My Mother Often Told Me 2:30
13. Lewis' Little Girl Done Stole a Black Cat Bone 4:23
14. Jumpin' Jive 1:17
15. Poor Boy 2:21
16. Guitar Blues (Hound Dogs on My Tracks) 3:09
17. Comb My Baby's Hair 2:51
18. Oh Lord, Tell Me Right From Wrong 2:53