Big George Jackson

Beggin' Ain't for Me

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Revered songwriter Big George Jackson's songs didn't have the same snap, crackle, and pop when he recorded them himself -- they always came off better when sung by other singers. Jackson's low voice wasn't the best vehicle to sell the hearty Southern dramas he wrote so prolifically; it was better suited for uptempo blues, the material that comprises the lion's share of Beggin' Ain't for Me. He wrote eight of the ten songs, but the most lively numbers are Elmore James' "Shake Your Moneymaker" and "Kitchen Sink Boogie" (credited to a trio of writers) with its strong lead guitar play. Jackson's no spring chicken, but "Ella May" sounds as if a much older man is singing; the lyrics don't get much more complex than, "Ella May what you got cookin' today." "Looking to Steal Somebody" is so deliberate that you have time to insert alternate lyrics before Jackson sings the ones he wrote. Jackson helps his cause by blowing a fiery harp on many selections. If you're looking for an album of jumping blues, this is top shelf, but those expecting to hear Jackson the writer of "I'm Just a Prisoner," "Cheatin' in the Next Room," and "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, Forget 'Em" will still be looking after this CD is done playing.

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