Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Billy Boy Arnold – More Blues on the South Side

I came across Arnold via a harmonica instructional video that a friend loaned me (thanks, Gerry!) and was impressed by the fact that he was taught by none other than Sonny Boy Williamson, and he knew other harp greats like Little Walter. So, I searched out his own records and found this one at a reasonable price.

According to the liner notes, Arnold was also the harmonica player on Bo Diddley’s 50’s hits, which I have been diggin’ lately, as well, since I have been trying to learn cool tunes on the harp.

This album was recorded in Chicago (natch) in December of 1963 and includes other blues giants such as Might Joe Young (guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano) and Jerome Arnold (Billy Boy’s brother, then with the Butterfield Blues Band) and Junior Blackmon and bass and drums, respectively.

While the material does not include any strong stand-outs, this is a solid record with quality playing all around. I wouldn’t say that this is essential, but it is a good representation of early 60’s Chicago blues.