Blues Professor

J.C. Burris

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Blues Professor Review

by Richie Unterberger

Half of these songs were recorded in 1975, all but one of the ten showing up on an Arhoolie LP ("Wailing and Sailing" is previously unreleased). The remaining ten, probably recorded by Burris himself on a cassette recorder in 1976, were all previously unissued. On all of the material, there's nothing but Burris' unaccompanied, singing harmonica playing, to which he adds some rhythm bones and hand clapping. Unsurprisingly, he sounds a good deal like his uncle Sonny Terry, playing wistful but warm country blues, whether originals or covers like "Hand Jive" (the Johnny Otis hit) and "Don't Let Go" (a hit for Roy Hamilton in the late 1950s). Burris has deep rich vocals, and these are nice solo harmonica pieces, but nothing astounding. The recording quality isn't top of the line, though it's clear enough to get the job done.

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