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Hoodoo Man Blues [Vinyl]

4.8 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Vinyl, October 10, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(VINYL LP) Hoodoo Man Blues is not only Junior Well's initial LP appearance, it is damn near the first LP by a Chicago blues band. Chess and a few other labels had reissued 45's by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, etc. but virtually no one had tried to capture the Chicago blues sound free of limitations of juke-box/airplay promotion. Delmark is proud of the part Hoodoo Man Blues played in the popularization of the real Chicago blues and of Junior Wells. But the credit belongs to Junior, Buddy, Jack and Billy - they made the music. We just sat and dug it.

Hoodoo Man Blues is considered by most blues aficionados and fans to be one of the best blues albums of all time. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was chosen by the readers of Living Blues magazine as a top ten Desert Island Blues disc. Recorded on September 22 & 23, 1965 Hoodoo Man Blues was the first studio album to capture a working Chicago blues band doing essentially what they did on stage without time constraints to accommodate the singles market. Of course both Junior Wells & Buddy Guy went on to become international blues stars.

Review

Originally released in 1965, this is one of the great blues albums of all time, featuring as it does, some of the greats of the genre such as Buddy Guy on guitar, Jack Myers on bass and Billy Warren on drums.

The original recording is beautifully mixed because it sounds so authentic. It's as if the studio has been moved to a small, local venue somewhere in the middle of a field filled with carousing people full of liquor and bad language.

If you have no experience of the blues and are looking for an entry point or, if you're a blues fan and have yet to come across this stone-cold classic, then grab this release as soon as you can but do it using this vinyl version. This is the format it was recorded for and this is the format that best conveys the atmosphere and energy of the performers. -- Hi-Fi World UK, May 2010

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (October 10, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Delmark
  • Run Time: 33.00 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007JGQI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,551 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Junior Wells isn't my personal favorite as a harpist (Sonny Boy is), but this album is one of my absolute favorites in the blooze. This album is really HOT, with Junior struttin' his stuff with his mates from Chicago, including the one & only Buddy Guy. Buddy really gels with Wells on this album, not by taking solos, but by accompanying him & the actual song being played. His presence really steps up Junior, & brings out the best in him here.
While Junior is a terrific blues harpist & singer, he has a real funky style that resembles James Brown. You can really hear it from the get go in "Snatch back & Hold It". The cover of "You Don't Love Me" from this album will influence a bunch of guys in Macon, GA. a few years later.
I believe this was also one of the earliest "full" blues albums released, rather than a collection of singles from vinyl. Hence, the greatest blues "album" ever recorded. Yes, that is my personal opinion, but the Chicago blues rarely gets better than this. Essential for any blues collection!
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By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The appeal of Hoodoo Man Blues is that it was conceived as an album instead of a hodgepodge of singles and other tracks. When Junior Wells took his backing band with him into Bob Koester's Delmark studio, he had an LP in mind. Hoodoo Man Blues sounds as if it had been recorded in at some dingy nightclub in downtown Chicago at midnight. No particular track on the album stands out above the rest. What there is here is wall-to-wall classic blues. Wells makes no apologies to the purist crowd and throws a little James Brown-esque funk into the mix. He was a harp-toting gangster. He may not have been technically as good on the harp as Little Walter, but Wells had the attitude. Wells employs ace musicians to back him up like Buddy Guy on guitar, Billy Warren on drums, and Jack Myers on electric bass.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is easily one of the best studio blues albums ever made. Not only is the album great, but it is also a historically significant in that it was one of the first true blues 'albums'. This is not a collection of singles, but a front to back great album. Junior is in top form and the the interplay between Junior and Buddy, the blues best combo, is amazing. A must for any blues fans and in particular Chicago style blues fans. Also check out Buddy Guy's great 'I was walking through the woods'. If its not in your collection buy it now. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
First, I ask everybody to forgive me for my poor English (I'm from Italy)...

I think that if I had to choose ten CD to take with me on a desert island Hoodoo Man Blues would be one. In 1965 Jr. Wells began a fantastic career that reached the top in 1975 with Live at Theresa's. The stuff recorded after this year I dont think it's that good except for few numbers. The best of Jr. Wells I think it's included in these 10 years, included the very first recordings of the 50's (Blues Hit Big Town is a fantastic Chicago blues album). Hoodoo Man Blues is what a Chicago Blues harmonica fan asks for. In this album you can imagine to be in a club in the West Side or South Side, close your eyes and enjoy the atmosphere... Junior has that dry, raw, direct sound, so simple and so exciting... Well, my favorite harmonica plauer is Rice Miller, I'm cray about Big Walter Horton and I also like Little Walter, and Junior Wells is the heritage of all these dudes... I love his way of using the throat when he gasps through the mic... It reminds me Sonny Terry's and Peg Leg Sam's whooping and yelling between a note and another one. Junior "translates" that old time way of playing into a modern context. I know very well that old time players: Jaybird Coleman, DeFord Bailey even the less known ones like Horace Sprott or Rich Amerson and all that could recorded in the 50s and the 60s, and if I feel the blues when I listen to them, I don't think the feeling is changed with Junior, even the times had changed. Junior is a today's (I mean in the 60s and 70s) man who brings us the same old blues feeling, and I think this is what a blues player-singer should do. I don't like that today's monsters who plays thousands notes a minute but don't tell me anything... Well, listen e.g. to Ships On The Ocean...
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Format: Audio CD
Chuck Berry was the proto-type for blues-inflected rock, James Brown popularized funky blues, but Amos Blackmore aka Junior Wells perfected both. This is, without question, one of the essential blues records of all time. Kicking off with the lethal "Snatch It Back and Hold It", Wells and company (including Buddy Guy) unleash a set of tunes that are yet to be surpassed by any other recorded blues work. During "Ships on the Ocean" Wells prompts Guy to lay down some nasty guitar by joyfully exclaiming (practically preaching) "this is the blues, baby". This album documents to perfection (and better than any other) what was going on in Chicago blues clubs in the 1960's. This belongs on your short list of cds to purchase.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been hearing about this album for 20 years, but only got it recently. So naturally I compare it with what I have listened to in the past 20 years.
Earlier Wells albums featured a larger group - with horns, piano etc... The sound was heavy and I loved it. This CD has Wells, Buddy Guy on guitar, plus bass and drums. The sound is lighter, and the band goes for jumping, funky kind of blues. Wells' harmonica gets much more room here than it did before.
As a Chicago harpist, I rate Wells second only to Little Walter, but Wells is a better singer ! Wells is a great singer and performer, and deserves the showcase this CD affords him. He was young and fresh, and felt like jumping much more than laying back. As a result, the best tracks are the fast ones - Chilli Con Carne, Snatch It Back etc...
I love Buddy Guy's playing on the CD - he lets Wells have the main stage, and behaves like a true friend and musician - thinking only about the overall result.
To conclude - this is a great blues CD, worth having to any blues fan.
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