Omar Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan

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Omar Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan

Postby blueswriter » Mon May 11, 2009 6:44 pm

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Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan
On The Jimmy Reed Highway
Ruf (2007) RUF 1122

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12 track, 45 minutes. Excellent. Having been established artists for more than a few decades, Kent "Omar" Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan both bring a lot to the blues table. Each is a recognized guitarist, with Vaughan having the upper hand as an extremely well-rounded and mature slinger, and both are vocalists. Dykes possesses the more experienced voice having fronted his own bands for years, while Vaughan has grown into that role since leaving the Fabulous Thunderbirds a couple decades back. However, Dykes' voice sounds as though he's gargled with glass and razor blades since childhood. What makes for one of the interesting qualities of this project is Dykes (who sounds like Howlin' Wolf) singing through some of Jimmy Reed's better know songs. That's also a bit of a downfall. Omar's vocal style fits perfectly with rocking, up-tempo shuffles like Baby What You Want Me To Do/Bright Lights Big City, Big Boss Man, Bad Boy and Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth among others. However, Vaughan might well have carried Caress Me Baby and I'll Change My Style with a bit more impact, having a quieter voice more suited to the couple of softer tracks. But Jimmie's guitar-playing throughout is a marvel of subtlety and understatement that also happens to come with huge tone and an endless supply of licks. There's also a lot of weight here with the addition of Kim Wilson and James Cotton both supplying tasteful harp. Delbert McClinton and Lou Ann Barton also assist with some vocal spots and their contributions are mighty. The backing unit packs some knockout power as well with Ronnie James tackling most of the bass duties, while drumming is handled capably by Wes Starr with George Rains and Jay Moeller helping out. Riding On The Jimmy Reed Highway is an awful lot of fun with Vaughan and Dykes guiding the tour. Listeners shouldn't be disappointed.


On The Jimmy Reed Highway

© 2009 by Craig Ruskey
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