Johnny Shines

Worried Blues Ain't Bad

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It wasn't until 1996 (four years after Johnny Shines' death) that this rare 1974 session finally saw the light of day. The 1960s had found the singer/guitarist successfully embracing electric blues some of the time and working with such Chicagoans as Otis Spann, Luther Allison. and Big Walter Horton, but when he recorded what would become the CD Worried Blues Ain't Bad, it was back to an entirely acoustic Delta blues approach. Though Shines had his own style, it's hard to miss Robert Johnson's influence on such heartfelt originals as "Went to the River to Drown," "Devil's Daughter," and "Down in Spirit." Minimalism is the rule here, and Shines' sidemen (Don Audet on harmonica, Richard Baker on second acoustic guitar, and Bob Derkash on upright bass) do their part to keep things personal and intimate. It's just unfortunate that this solid date went unreleased for 22 years.

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