1971 Jimmy Dawkins went to Europe and when he was in Paris he took the time
to record this album. The band is 2/3 French, the only American player is
Mickey Baker on guitar (The Mickey Baker?). The liner notes tells it
all: "Even the less informed listener will understand, in hearing this
collection, the extent that this music, so charged with emotion and contained
violence, corresponds to the mixed feelings of frustration and hope of the
black population of the great American cities." Well, well. Anyway I kind
of like this album, in my opinion it´s one of the best of Dawkins
European albums. (Which might say more of the other albums than this...)
- The way she walks
The album kicks of with a version of "It serves me right to suffer".
The take here is not as good as the one on "Fast Fingers".
- Lick for licks
The opening notes reminds a lot of a Magic Sam song from one his Delmark albums.
Dawkins turns this song to an instrumental. There´s no real attack from
Dawkins and then his guitar playing gets quite boring. When Dawkins is close
to let loose the organ takes a solo. Too bad.
- Don´t bring me your troubles, baby
It´s time to slow things down. Mickey Baker throws off fat chords and
Jimmy plucks his patented notes in the back. The lyrics are depressing, "Don´t
bring me your troubles, baby. I got enough of them myself". The bad thing
is Jimmy doesn´t seem to get in groove. On the bad side also is that
the band is a bit too stiff to really move me.
- I wonder why you do things you do to me
Baker plays some kind of Magic Sam "All your love" riff and Dawkins
grunts some lines from time to time. Not worth listening at.
- Let me have my way
A "Dust my broom" intro and then the song turns into a standard
blues shuffle. Really boring.
- Chicago on my mind
Another slow blues. This time with the familiar "On tour in Europe longing
home to Chicago" lyrics. Some typical Dawkins licks, especially in the
last solo but the song is too long and I can´t even stand to hear the
- I´ve been walking all night long
Jimmy Baker have found a Magic Slim kind of rhythm pattern and Jimmy hits
the strings a little harder than before. It might not be the greatest song
in the Dawkins catalogue but at least it swings.
- Blues in the Ghetto
Back to the West Side. If this track had been on "Fast Fingers"
I´d write it down, but on this album it´s the best song yet. Very
much Magic Sam in this instrumental.
- Out of Business
Jimmy have recorded several versions of "All for business". They´re
always fascinating in some ways, and this take is no exception. By far the
best track on the album, Jimmy's guitar is for the first time mixed so you
really can enjoy it. This track alone is worth the price of the album. For
the first time on this album I´m moved. That guitar! Shit.
- Low down dirty dog
This is the best up tempo song on the album. Nothing fancy, just low down
and thumping. The best tracks are the last ones on the album. The French producers
never did know how to put together an album.