Sam Carr's Delta Jukes

Let the Good Times Roll

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Blues drummer Sam Carr is the son of the legendary Robert Nighthawk, and from his Mississippi birthplace arrived in St. Louis, and then for good in Helena, AK, where he formed this group, the Delta Jukes. They play authentic, raw, and untamed down-home blues, replete with the rough-hewn, basic techniques that signify blues dragged through Southern mud and somewhat refined by modern electricity. On this document are two significant vocalists in Dave Riley, who sings on six cuts, and John Weston, who plays a spare basic harmonica on all the tracks, and does the lyric on two. Weston appeared on this session shortly before passing away from heart failure. Producer Fred James plays second guitar and bass, while Andrew Turner is on third guitar. Riley sings on the ragged edge for the juke-joint shuffle "Thank You Baby," the chooglin' "All Night Long," the good-time party tune "Why Do You Call," and the rocker "Hoover Den" (a typo? "Hoover Dam"?), all of which he wrote. Weston vocally shows more range and a smoother, lower timbre during his compositions, the slow "Fishing" and slower "Good Man." The rest are well-known blues standards, including an excellent steady-rollin' three-song Jimmy Reed medley. Carr sings and plays guitar in tandem with Weston for a loosey-goosey take on "Big Boss Man" and the Jimmy Rogers-penned "Sweet Home Chicago"-sounding "That's Alright." The final two tracks are a revelation, as Turner, paralleling Lonnie Brooks in sound and stance, turns in some nasty guitar and vocal work during John Lee Hooker's "Crawling King Snake" and the party anthem "Let the Good Times Roll." Though at times a bit sloppy and imprecise, this is still a fine no-frills CD that blues lovers should easily enjoy.

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