[Harp-L] Re: Re-Interest

Though they contain no harmonica whatsoever, J.B.Lenoir's acoustic recordings, recently re-released as "Passionate Blues" on Bellaphon, are my "desert island disc" and continue to inspire me and renew my faith in the blues every time I go back to them. Originally released on 2 LPs and recorded in 1965 and 1966 under very simple conditions in Chicago by Horst Lippmann, the man who brought the blues to Europe, these brilliant songs also feature Little Walter's drummer Fred Below, inventor of the Chicago shuffle (obligatory harmonica content ;-) on many cuts plus backing vocals from Willie Dixon on a couple of tunes.

I've been listening to these gems for at least 35 years and keep returning to them. JB was a brilliant singer and unique guitar stylist, the songs are beautifully performed and offer an object lesson in how complex, varied and subtle blues grooves can be. They also provide a rare example of an African American singer who wasn't afraid to sing about social and political issues at a time when it was a lot safer to keep your mouth shut.

Steve Baker

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