Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Big Joe Williams – Revisited (Varese, 2004)

Wiley ‘ol bluesman Big Joe Williams never turned down a recording opportunity when there was cash money up front. This disc has a mix of sessions Williams cut during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s both solo and with a diverse cast of characters. At one point, he hooks up with come old confederates, Brownie McGhee and Lightnin’ Hopkins and for a lighthearted joshing session filled with songs about “wimmin’ and drinkin.’”

He also breaks out some classic blues standards, starting the whole thing off with his own epochal “Baby Please Go.” He plays a mighty solo and sings a stark version of a song that was in his repertoire throughout most of is career, “Highway 49” along with a blasting version of “Shake ‘em On Down.” One of the best tunes on the disc is a remake of an old folk tune “Stack of Dollars” where Big Joe picks out dark chords on his homemade nine string guitar and sings ominously about the evil that money can do. This is a solid pickup if you see it cheap or in the used bin, but there’s million Big Joe CD’s, though, so choose wisely.

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