Thursday, July 08, 2004

Magic Sam – West Side Soul (Delmark, 1967)

Sadly, "Magic" Sam Maghett never received his rightful due as a blues musician due to his early death. He was the total package, a deft guitar player with a soulful voice, he was a legend among the Chicago scene which itself was packed with legends.

Sam’s heartfelt and pleading vocals make the first couple of songs into lovelorn laments. His guitar cranks up, pushed by Mighty Joe Young's rhythm guitar on blasting up-tempo numbers like "I Don't Want No Woman" and the standard "Sweet Home Chicago." Magic Sam's guitar is always on display, but his is never out of control and never wastes a note. The album ends with a amazing one-two punch of the impossibly emotional slow blues "My Love Will Never Die" with Sam's heartbroken cry which chills to the bone and the other is a blasting version of J.B. Lenior's "Mama Talk to Your Daughter" which takes the record out on a high point.

Blues was a little late in the game with regards to releasing albums that weren't just collections of previously released singles, but with records like this and Junior Wells' Hoodo Man Blues and South Side Blues Jam established Delmark as a major player on the music scene and Magic Sam as a musician for the ages.

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