Bob Margolin

All-Star Blues Jam

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Bob Margolin, former lead guitar player for Muddy Waters, has assembled a stellar cast of Chicago musicians for All-Star Blues Jam. These are all longtime veteran players with pedigrees in Howlin' Wolf's and Waters' bands among others, with the exception of Mookie Brill on vocals, bass, and harmonica, who more than holds his own with this fine assemblage. The band is tight and well used to jamming, and this shows with their playing of these 15 songs that sound as if they come out of a Chicago blues handbook. Most of them are standards; however, such songwriters as Brook Benton and of course Margolin contributed a couple. A standout on the disc is the rendition of "Mean Old Chicago," which Margolin wrote on the way to Jimmy Rogers' funeral. This was recorded live, as were most of the cuts, at a gig he was doing in Salina. On this version of it he is joined on guitar by Jimmy D. Lane, who is Rogers' son. The couple of songs recorded with Hubert Sumlin were done at Margolin's house with the two of them picking and Brill joining in on acoustic guitar or harp. It has that wonderful live feel of spontaneous playing that has a true spirit to it.

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