Jimmy Rogers

Blue Bird

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AllMusic Review by

This was Jimmy Rogers' last "proper" Chicago blues album, and it deservedly won a W.C. Handy Award in 1995. There are no moonlighting rock stars here; they would come out in droves for Rogers' subsequent album Blues Blues Blues. And with the exception of the last track -- which is basically pianist Johnnie Johnson showing off for eight minutes -- Rogers sits squarely in the spotlight for the duration of Blue Bird. As expected, Rogers revisits a fair amount of his earlier repertoire ("Walking By Myself," "I Lost a Good Woman"), but he also digs up several original tunes that he had never gotten around to recording until now. Throw in a few Chicago standards ("Big Boss Man," "Rock Me," "Smokestack Lightning"), and you have a solid, laid-back, and tremendously satisfying album by one of the underrated masters. The backing band is a mix of Chicago blues brethren (Carey Bell on harp, Dave Myers on bass, Ted Harvey on drums) and family (Rogers' son Jimmy D. Lane on lead guitar), plus Johnson, who is perhaps a rock star by association since he played with Chuck Berry for 18 years. This one's a must-have.

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