Festival. Excello 28026 [8 tracks on Anthology] 1972.
Jimmy Dawkins: v,g. Louis Myers, g. David Myers, b,
Lafayette Leake, p. Fred Below, d.
- Casino trick stick (2.50)
- Five long years (4.47)
- Dust my broom / Sweet home Chicago (5.06)
- Whole lotta lovin´ (3.02)
- Im´gonna move to the outskirts of town
- You don´t love me (3.00)
- Close down boogie (2.22)
- Got my mojo working (6,30) (Guitar only. Lightning
Excello gave Jimmy Dawkins a low down dirty deal . They recorded one
overproduced monster of a blues album, Transatlantic 770, and then, more by
chance than planned, these live tracks. Why did they bother to sign up Jimmy?
It´s strange how some labels in the seventies contracted contemporary
blues artists and then didn´t know what to do with them. Luther Allison is
the prime example. His years at Tamla Motown was if not a waste of time, at
least didn´t show what he could have done at the time. Ok, back to Jimmy.
Montreux Jazz Festival in 1972 held several big names from the blues and
rockn´roll field. Excello sent four of their top artists, Dr Ross, Bessie
Griffin, Lightning Slim with Whispering Smith and Jimmy Dawkins, and these four
artists share a double album.
Jimmy Dawkins is backed by the Aces and Lafayette Leake on piano, and they
do a great job. In fact, outside the three Delmark albums, this is the best
back up band Jimmy had on record in the seventies. The Myers brothers and Fred
Below really knows how to play a shuffle so it swings. Kent Ersson in Jefferson
34 says Louis Myers complained that Jimmy played too loud and that the band
was heavily delayed so that half of the audience already had gone home when
the show started. But as Kent Ersson also says, as a listener you can´t
tell there are any tensions in the band. The music is real good. What you maybe
can feel, is that since the songs are quite short, the half filled concert arena
didn´t rocket Jimmy´s playing to the stars. The Excello album is still
the best live album by Jimmy (I haven´t heard All Blues). The two
MCM albums could have been fantastic, the band is awesome, but somehow
the real magic is only partly there. There might not have been magic in the
air in Montreux either, but you could expect at least Siegfried and Roy to walk
in at the end...
- Casino trick stick
The very first lick sound like the trademark Brewer Phillips intro, but the
song evolves into a tough driving showcase for Jimmy´s rapid fire solo
lines. Jimmy´s guitar on this album sounds like a mix between the tremolo
notes from Fast Fingers and the intensity from Tribute to Orange. Jimmy´s
playing is very sharp this evening
- Five long years
A droooowning chord opens the song and I´m sold. No one plays those West
Side chords like Jimmy Dawkins. The singing is average, Jimmy doesn´t
try to sing,. he merely speakes the words. Very effective! In the solo Jimmy
is showing the first traces of the more cracked up playing he later showed
on Blisterstring. He starts a line, drops it, tries again and comes thru.
- Dust my broom / Sweet home Chicago
The odds are against this song. It´s the standard of standard blues songs
and in Sweet Home Chicago a member of the audience comes up on stage and plays
harmonica. This could have been awful, but somehow it works. The harp is in
fact good and the song sounds a lot more like the blues battle between Jimmy
and Otis Rush on All for business than a jam on an european blues festival.
AND the song is just 5.06 long. This could have gone on forever...
- Whole lotta lovin´
Feedback! Well, the song don´t turn out to be a Grateful Dead jam, instead
it´s a finger poppin´ shuffle where especially Dave Myers bouncy
base makes your feet move and your fingers snap etc.
- Im´gonna move to the outskirts of town
A traditional slow blues with a long and intense guitar opening. I love it.
Jimmy takes time in the middle of the song to give the audience a talking
blues history lesson when he introduces the band.
- You don´t love me
Not much to say than that this is a solid take of this classic.
- Close down boogie
The hottest guitar of the night comes in the last song. Listen to the speed
he has on his tremolo notes! A great last song, leaving the audience want