Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sonny Boy Williamson – His Best – the Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Anyone who is familiar with the New York Dolls knows Sonny Boy from his original version of “Don’t Start Me Talkin’”, which the Dolls covered – maniacally – on Too Much Too Soon.

Sonny Boy was one helluva singer and an especially amazing harmonica player, who influenced pretty much every player who followed – certainly all of the major stars name-checked him. His songwriting is terrific too and a majority of the tunes on this collection are his (which is somewhat of a rarity among blues compilations). As with most blues, there’s overlapping songs, such as his “Born Blind” essentially being the same as Mose Allison’s “Eyesight to the Blind” and “One Way Out” has had several authors and titles. But Sonny Boy puts his distinctive sound and style on them all!

Reaching the height of his career in his 50’s, he was still known as a hard-rockin’, hard-drinkin’, foot-stompin’ blues master blowing away folks half his age. Damn inspirational to this old man…

More fantastic blues from another legend!