Junior Wells & Root Doctor

Your chance to write big-time blues reviews. Only two rules: First, if you're connected to the band or artist, go to Shameless Promotion; Second, don't write a book -- keep it relatively short and simple, no 1,000+ word epics.

Oh .. and make it fun.

Junior Wells & Root Doctor

Postby blueswriter » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:44 am

Live At Theresa's - 1975
Delmark DE 787


20 tracks, 64 minutes - recommended. Of the twenty cuts on this disc eight of them consist of Junior talking to his audience and one is a rendering of Happy Birthday that could have easily been left off but the remaining eleven tracks stack up pretty nicely and show Wells in good form on Little By Little, Love Her With A Feeling, Juke, Snatch It Back And Hold It, Scratch My Back, Come On In This House and others. Byther Smith handles the vocals on Help The Poor as Smith and Phil Guy deliver guitar on about one half of the CD with Sammy Lawhorn playing on the remainder. Drumming is split between Vince Chappelle or Levi Warren with Ernest Johnson tackling the low end, and although the guitar work is slightly out of tune here and there it's not terribly distracting, but Junior's high-pitched squeal may irritate some. Not quite as essential as Delmark's recent yet vintage Otis Rush at the Wise Fools Pub but Junior Wells - Live At Theresa's garners some fairly high marks of its own.

Delmark Records

Been A Long Time Coming
Big-O (2006) 2406


12 tracks, 56 minutes - excellent. Root Doctor has your prescription at hand - it's about an hour's worth of funky blues, R&B, soul, and even a downhome track that recalls Mississippi's rich blues history. Freddie Cunningham fronts the quintet with the voice of a serious blues belter with Greg Nagy's taut guitar work featured prominently throughout the CD. Jim Alfredson handles the keyboards and Hammond B3 offering a solid vocal on the disc's title track while the rhythms and grooves are anchored by James Williams and Matt Hayes on bass and drums. The two vintage Southern Soul classics, Rainy Night In Georgia and The Turning Point get great readings and the band's version of Respect Yourself bristles with funk and could easily be the sleeper. Whether they're shuffling out a driving blues, taking it in the alley, or dishing up steamy soul, Root Doctor should be able to cure your ills. Some serious stuff here!

Root Doctor

© 2007 by Craig Ruskey
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Postby bosco » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:10 am

Hey, this is cool...somebody I know!

Root Doctor hails from Lansing, MI, where I lived from 1999 to 2003. Many was the night I sat in with them on harp at the Green Door Lounge and believe me the privilige was all mine!

Freddie can work a room with the best of them and James is as smooth a cat as you'll ever meet. Quality guys all.

Did I mention that this is cool?


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Location: Michigan

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