Junior Watson

Long Overdue

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Giving jump blues and early R&B a kick in its baggy pants, Watson's aptly-titled solo debut revealed what only guitarists (the more conscientious of them) had known for more than a decade: Here is a 6-stringer of rare talent, with the unique ability to play authentically and spontaneously -- all-too-often contradictory paths in the late '70s blues revival. The best and most fitting compliment one could give a Watson solo is that it makes you laugh; this is blues of the rent party variety and Watson never lapses into the maudlin. Along with singers Brenda Burns and Lynwood Slim (on harp as well), Watson favors us with half a dozen surprisingly confident vocals. In fact, the only criticism is that his voice is sometimes too low in the mix.

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