Junior Wells

Live at Theresa's 1975

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Recorded at two separate gigs in January 1975 but not issued until 2006, this captures Junior Wells on-stage at Theresa's, one of the most esteemed Chicago blues clubs. It's a little rawer than most live albums; the sound is good, and Wells is in good form, but his band is a little rough (and, particularly on the tracks with guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, a little off-key). But the flaws really aren't too significant, as this is a pretty enjoyable set of electric Chicago blues in its unadulterated vintage form. Wells offers his trademark exuberant blues with touches of rock, soul, and funk, performing a few of his most popular tunes ("Messin' with the Kid," "Snatch It Back and Hold It") and a bunch of classic covers that are more identified with other performers (Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back," Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," St. Louis Jimmy Oden's "Goin' Down Slow," Little Walter's "Juke," Tampa Red's "Love Her with a Feeling," and "Help the Poor," the last popularized by B.B. King). It might have been good to hear more Wells' originals, but on the other hand it's cool to hear him bring his persona to that group of outside material, and a few five-minute-plus numbers allow him to stretch out more than he did in the studio. There's also some entertaining banter with the audience (and a version of "Happy Birthday") that adds to the intimate, earthy club ambience, though you do feel that a talent as major as Wells should have had slightly tighter backup musicians than the ones (including Buddy Guy's brother, Phil Guy, on guitar) playing on this CD.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:41 SpotifyAmazon
2 6:36 SpotifyAmazon
3
0:24
4 4:12 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:51
6 3:36 SpotifyAmazon
7
1:00
8
1:27 SpotifyAmazon
9
1:41
10 5:44 SpotifyAmazon
11
3:55 SpotifyAmazon
12
0:39
13 3:23 SpotifyAmazon
14
0:41
15 8:04 SpotifyAmazon
16
4:07 SpotifyAmazon
17
0:12
18 8:27 SpotifyAmazon
19
0:33
20
2:27 SpotifyAmazon
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