Yes, the Jewel label. A fine example of a regional Louisiana outfit, with lots of offspring. This release, for example, is manufactured by Paula, a division of Sue. Okay gals, whatever you say. The music of Roosevelt Sykes remains uniquely his own, no matter how many times he might have signed his name on the dotted line. As for the Meek, has there ever been a less appropriate album title? Whether singing or tickling the ivories, Sykes is about as meek as the breath of a wounded water buffalo. This set is typical of one of the man's solo piano outings from the '70s. It pretty well all fits into the blues mode, although he neighbors into the swing area from time to time, and when he does, shows off plenty of chops as well as ideas. "I Am in Love With a Lover" and "Dangerous Man" are from his lusty and bragging bags, while instrumentals such as "Roosevelt's Mood" and "Shaking the Boogie" are hard to fault, no matter how familiar some of the material is. "Safety Pin Blues" gathers together all the best aspects of his artist, the energetic fills and thumping beat backing up clever and witty lyrics. It seems to have been a pretty decent recording, but pressings and mastering jobs from this company can vary in quality.
The Meek Roosevelt Sykes Review
by Eugene Chadbourne