Let's Go to Town

Big Leon Brooks

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Let's Go to Town Review

by Scott Yanow

There is such joy and power to the music heard on this CD that it is difficult to believe that Big Leon Brooks passed away before the record was released. This is a reissue of an LP from the B.O.B. label and it features Brooks at his best. One of the top blues harmonica players based in Chicago in the '50s, Brooks had drug problems and quit the music business altogether in 1957. Nineteen years later quite by accident he returned to playing blues and he was busy for a few years before heart problems caused him to scale back before his death. On Let's Go to Town his gruff vocals are effective and the backup musicians (which are usually guitarist Louis Myers, bassist Bob Stroger and drummer Odie Payne, Jr.) are perfect for this mixture of blues and jump tunes, and the set has plenty of variety in the blues idiom. This is a perfect last testament for Big Leon Brooks, a great if underrated bluesman.

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