Johnny Nicholas - Fresh Air

Fresh Air
Self Produced

Johnny Nicholas - Fresh AirJohnny Nicholas has indeed been around the block when it comes to the blues and performing. He worked and played alongside many of the legends of the genre — Big Walter Horton, Robert Lockwood Jr, Johnny Shines, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Hound Dog Taylor and many others. He formed his first band with a new guitarist named Duke Robillard in the 1960s, led another in the 1970s that featured a young Ronnie Earl, and of course he may best be remembered for his stint playing western swing with the Texas-based group Asleep At The Wheel with whom he won a Grammy Award.

Fresh Air is Johnny Nicholas’ latest release. His albums don’t come nearly as often as they should, with this being the follow-up to his well-received 2011 disc Future Blues. Recorded in Austin, TX and produced by Bruce Hughes, who also plays bass, Fresh Air finds Nicholas joined by a group of well-known performers that includes Scrappy Jud Newcomb, Steve Riley, John Chipman, and Cindy Cashdollar. Every number of this stellar recording offers an authentic take on the blues in Nicholas own unique way. He is a multi-instrumentalist that finds him playing a variety of guitars, piano and harmonica.

The album contains thirteen tracks and all but two are originals that Nicholas had a hand in penning. Two covers by Sleepy John Estes (“Kid Man Blues”) and Willie Dixon (“Back Door Man”) fit in nicely and have been given the right treatment to make them sound as if they too were Nicholas originals. Let’s just say that Nicholas, whether writing his own material or covering others, has a knack that reads like his own personal storybook.

Nicholas displays his creative wordplay with his lyrics. In “Sweet Katrina” he tells us about the woman who is meaner than a one-eyed dog, but has everything that a woman could use like a big screen TV and a closet full of shoes. In “Red Light” the song jumps while expressing how he wants to make a little time with the woman of his choice. He needs some roadside assistance because all he’s getting from her is a red light. The song is pushed forward with some fine lap steel work from Cindy Cashdollar. “How Do You Follow A Broken Heart?” is a tear-jerker. It’s slow paced guitar, again finding Cashdollar adding extra soft textures, that kind of reminds me of the ease of Charles Brown’s music. And then there’s “Play Me (Like You Play Your Guitar).” It’s got a swampy feel behind it and we know when Nicholas offers lines like “run your fingers down my neck,” “I love the way you squeeze that note,” or “play it like you never played it before,” this risqué number is a bit more than about a guitar. The closing track is well named as it is a piece of “Fresh Air” that is soothing and comes across expertly with tasteful mandolin and slide guitar.

It’d be hard to find a track on Fresh Air that isn’t appealing. Definitely an album that deserves attention and masterfully compiled with top notch musicians, instrumentation and soulful vocals. Johnny Nicholas has been around for more than fifty years and proves that he has earned his blues credentials throughout that time. Singer, songwriter, musician and performer, he is all of that and he’s delivered an album that highlights his talents to perfection.

Total Time: 63:05

Moonlight Train / Kid Man Blues / Blues Time / Red Light / Sweet Katrina / Play Me (Like You Play Your Guitar) / How Do You Follow A Broken Heart? / Bayou Blues / Roll On Mississippi / Back Door Man / Wake Up Bobby / Workin’ In The Garden / Fresh Air

Sharon Lewis and Texas Fire

Grown Ass Woman
Delmark Records

Sharon Lewis and Texas FireWhen you think about the Chicago blues women singers, there is an image that come immediately to mind — the full powered voices of people like Koko Taylor, Zora Young, Demetria Taylor, or Shemekia Copeland (yeah, I know Shemekia is originally from New York, but she stills presents a Chicago style when she sings). That is exactly what you get from Sharon Lewis, too. But her presentation is more than just a shouter, she has a lot of soulfulness and can bring forth a tenderness in her voice that is every bit of pleasing to hear, too.

Grown Ass Woman is Lewis’ sophomore Delmark release, and it’s packed full of great Chicago blues that will charm the purists and catch attention from new listeners to the genre. It’s simply great music.

Playing behind Lewis is a stellar band, Texas Fire, with guitarist Steve Bramer making significant contributions not only with his instrument but with songwriting, too. Keyboard whiz Roosevelt Purifoy tears things up throughout the recording and sure-fire and steady rhythm comes from bassist Andre Howard and drummer Tony Dale. Guest artists appearing have Sugar Blue blowing harp on a couple numbers, Joanna Connor’s burning slide work on a couple others, Carey Bell’s son Steve Bell showing that he caught his father’s legacy on harmonica, and Kenny Anderson playing trumpet and writing horn arrangements.

If you had any questions about Chicago’s continued legitimacy as the blues capitol, Lewis flat out tells you there’s nothing to deny about it in the opening track “Can’t Do It Like We Do.” And she lays down proof to the claim by calling off names of those who keep it alive: Billy Branch, Mike Wheeler and Nellie Travis. A great way to start off the album and she carries it on throughout, wanting you to shout out “Hell Yeah!” if you agree; certainly a number that is sure to get an audience frenzied.

But Lewis explores other topics than just her city. “Freedom” is a political statement. “Freedom cannot be freedom until freedom means freedom for everyone.” On “They’re Lying” she tells us not to listen to people who gossip, they’re just spreading falsehoods that hurt. Then on “Old Man’s Baby” she speaks about how an older man will take care of her and be more truthful than a younger man: “I’d rather be an old man’s baby than a young man’s fool.” The songwriting on Grown Ass Woman is strong on every selection.

Lewis closes the album with two covers that are smartly done. Bramer’s guitar is biting and Lewis’ voice growls on a funky reading of BB King’s “Why I Sing The Blues” and The Allman Brothers’ “Soul Shine” is a terrific way to draw everything to a close in a positive and tender way.

With Grown Ass Woman, Sharon Lewis has declared that she is the new force of nature to reckon with when it comes to Chicago vocalists. Listening to this album should leave little doubt to that. Outstanding.

Total Time: 56:33

Can’t Do It Like We Do / Hell Yeah! / Chicago Woman / They’re Lying / Don’t Try To Judge Me / Old Man’s Baby / Grown Ass Woman / Walk With Me / Freedom / Call Home / Home Free Blues / High Road / Why I Sing The Blues / Soul Shine


Elvin Bishop CD cover

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
Alligator Records

Elvin Bishop CD coverThis is a bare bones recording with just Elvin strumming out his trademark superb guitar lines, Willy Jordan working his percussion on cajon, and Bob Welsh switching between guitar and piano. They present a great deal of sound between them and its traditional sounding blues through and through. Oh yeah, add into the mix on a triple of numbers harmonica work from good friends and masters Charlie Musselwhite, Kim Wilson, and Rick Estrin and you know you can’t go wrong.

Most of the tracks are original, but there are also five covers. Of those Willy Jordan shines brightly on the vocals for Sunnyland Slim’s “It’s You Baby,” Bobby Womack’s much-recorded “It’s All Over Now” and the Dave Bartholomew/Fats Domino classic “Let The Four Winds Blow” where he throws out a little scat alongside crisp slide work from Bishop. The other two covers are Ted Taylor’s “Can’t Take No More” and a return to Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Honey Babe” that Bishop first recorded back in 1975 on the Let It Flow album.

Charlie Musselwhite and Bishop team up for their co-penned “100 Years Of Blues.” They talk about the legends that they have been around and paying their dues throughout the years that total between the two of them to more than 100. They jokingly state that they’ve been around so long that when they started the Dead Sea was just sick.

If you’re hungry you might just get a little more so listening to “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About” as Bishop asks the guys where they should eat. In some fast food joint or depending on where they’re at, he names off some favorite establishments around the country and what they have to offer. When suggested that he play a solo during the song, he says to let him take some of the grease off of his fingers first. But it just may be that grease bringing such a soulful sound in the first place.

Those are but two examples of Bishop’s penchant for slyly worded lyrics, whether they be social commentaries or just plain let’s have some good time fun. There’s definitely more of the latter presented with this group. It’s hard not to smile when listening to the words and the music is just icing on the cake.

This is down-home as you can get. Raw and authentic. Just three guys having a good time messing around and you’re invited to the party. Check your attitudes at the door because this one has the dial set to happy.

Total Time: 44:45

Keep On Rollin’ / Honey Babe / It’s You, Baby / Ace In The Hole / Let’s Go / Delta Lowdown / It’s All Over Now / 100 Years Of Blues / Let The Four Winds Blow / That’s What I’m Talkin’ About / Can’t Take No More / Southside Slide

Scott Ramminger

Do What Your Heart Says To
Arbor Lane Music

Scott RammingerSaxophonist Scott Ramminger may live and work in the Washington, DC area, but his musical soul lies directly in New Orleans. His songs are filled with the jumpy, second line and jazzy feel associated with that Southern city. And with his latest release, he fills his music with the authenticity of some of New Orleans’ most renowned players to give it that added lagniappe.

Fourteen tracks, all originals written by Ramminger, make up his latest release, Do What Your Heart Says To. The core band, aside from Ramminger on tenor and baritone saxophones and vocals, include guitarist Shane Theriot, George Porter Jr on bass with Roland Guerin taking the role on two tracks, Johnny Vidacovich and Doug Belote splitting time on drums, David Torkanowsky on keys, Roddie Romero on accordion, and horn players Rick Trolsen, Greg Hicks and Eric Lucero. The recordings for the disc were handled in Louisiana, Virginia and Tennessee.

Ramminger’s voice is featured on all selections, but on most he is accompanied by a cast of stellar singers bringing forth an even greater dimension to his music. It’s hard to argue when you throw in people like Janiva Magness, Bekka Bramlett, Francine Reed, The McCrary Sisters and The Radiator’s Tommy Malone to help vocalize your material.

It has been four years since Ramminger last put out an album, 2013’s critically acclaimed Advice From A Father From A Son, but that lapsed time has been well worth the wait. Whatever your mood, you should find something to enjoy with Do What Your Heart Says To. There’s a bit of funky on “Give A Pencil To A Fish,” slow blues with Shane Theriot laying down some biting string-work along with Torkanowsky’s deep organ on “Winter Is Always Worse,”a Mardi Gras parade with “Mystery To Me” or the relaxed soulful piece “My Girl For Life. This album is straight ahead enjoyable start to finish. Ramminger has once again delivered a very welcome, feel good disc of top-rate songwriting and performing.

Total Time: 61:31

Living Too Fast / Someone New To Disappoint / Do What Your Heart Says To / Hoping That The Sun Won’t Shine / Give A Pencil To A Fish / Winter Is Always Worse / Get Back Up / It’s Hard To Be Me / Mystery To Me / Off My Mind / I Need A New One / Walk A Little Straighter / My Girl For Life / Stubborn Man

Cee Cee James

Stripped Down & Surrendered
FWG Records

Cee Cee JamesWhen it comes to songwriting, it should go without saying that the very best music comes through when it is honest and has been experienced. Especially with the blues. It is about life and its lessons. It’s love lost and found. The trials and tribulations that the story-teller is bringing across are authentic. It’s something that is meaningful and shows that you are worthy of relaying your message despite whatever anybody else may think.

With Cee Cee James, she has experienced more than her share of ups and downs in life. So you know that what she sings is quite often biographical and she has proven over and over again that she has a right to sing the blues. Her lyrics reflect the pain of loss and also the newfound purpose in life she has with new love found. Hers are songs directly from her heart, which is why they are so poignant and truthful.

Her latest release, “Stripped Down & Surrendered”, is no exception to the path she has pursued with her career as of late. Following a nice string of acclaimed recordings, this may be her best yet. It is emotive, with her voice taking on searing intenseness at times and soft and endearing at others. She lets you know that life has taken her to the edge, but she’s ready to turn the page and move on positively. As she states in the song “So Grateful” of her past pains and where they have led her: “So grateful for all the hurt / Bringin’ me to the center of my earth / Double me over into the womb / Brought me home to a brand new birth.”

The message is doubled in the musical presentation on Stripped Down & Surrendered with the extremely passionate guitar playing of James’ husband Rob “Slideboy” Andrews. It is brought about perfectly to enhance James’ lyrics with an extra feeling that touches your senses with each number.

Stripped Down & Surrendered finds Cee Cee James standing upon her mountain of past suffering and she has found a healing guidance that has her looking toward a bright new beginning. And she has produced a masterful collection of songs that will help lead you gladly along beside her.

Total Time: 66:41

Stripped Down & Surrendered / The Edge Is Where I Stopped / Hidden And Buried / He Shut The Demon Down / Glory Bound / Love Done Left Home / Cold Hard Gun / Thank You For Never Loving Me / Before 30 Suns / You’re My Man / Miner Mans Gold / So Grateful

Billy D & The Hoodoos

Overnight Success
Rokdablu Records

Billy D & The HoodoosThe long awaited follow-up to Billy D & The Hoodoos’ 2013 debut album Somethin’s Wrong has finally arrived and it is filled with the same catchy songs with their bare-boned, rock-inflected riffs that made that first release so well received. There’s a lot of power behind the trio of guitarist Billy D, drummer Scott Van Dusen and bassist Joe Casimir who know how to bring across a message without overstating their instruments’ voices and that is clearly evident on the new album, Overnight Success.

Growing up in Chicago obviously influenced Billy’s musical path, blending the city’s thriving blues scene with the very best of the rock music that captured his ear during his youth. It is reflected on numbers like the very Chuck Berry-esque “Can’t Get Over You” or “It Must Be Love” with a shuffle that’d make Bo Diddley proud.

Billy’s songwriting has always been impressive, catchy and memorable. For example, in the sad, softly played “Love Me Forever,” he can’t help but grieve for a love that he knows is slipping away from him, wishing for yet another moment when she felt that he was the one: “you don’t have to love me forever, just love me now.” Or the slide guitar track with the shoo-be-doo background of “Can’t Take It Anymore” where his partner may say one thing but acts in a different manner: “you tell me that you love me, you tell me that your love is true, but when I see you running around every night, tell me what am I supposed to do?” His answer of course is to show himself the door on the relationship.

A real surprise on the disc is the short instrumental number “Mornin’.” It is refreshing with something of a Caribbean feel with a Ry Cooder-like slide guitar style.

The album closes with a strong performance of Willie Dixon’s classic “Back Door Man.” It is the only non-original on the album and a tremendous way to close things out.

Guest artists on Overnight Success include keyboard whiz Steve Kerin, Ron Sorn on harmonica, and Blues Music Award nominee Jimmy Carpenter on saxophone.

It may have taken several years between recordings, but you don’t want to mess with art. Get it right before letting it loose on the public. That’s exactly what has happened here. Overnight Success has been given the right amount of creativeness and timing to bring it to its perfect result. Another amazing release from Billy D & The Hoodoos!

Total Time: 42:21

Can’t Get Over You / I Gotta Know / Movieland Blues / Cry Baby Cry / It Must Be Love / Please Don’t Go / Can’t Take It Anymore / Love Me Forever / Rokdablu / Mornin’ / Back Door Man

Sunday Wilde

Blueberries & Grits
Hwy 11 Records

Sunday WildeCanadian blues artist Sunday Wilde with her sixth release, takes her down South to the land of the Delta where she has created a nostalgic feeling collection of songs that are truthful and sassy. Recorded in Memphis and Clarksdale with all the acoustic instrumentation, Blueberries & Grits features Wilde’s outstanding piano work and sultry vocals. Many of the tracks sound as if you’re being thrown back in time as it echoes the classic, timeless feel of bygone early blues.  It’s like they could have been taken directly out of a Storyville bawdy house in early 20th century New Orleans with her piano backed by horns, or sitting on a back porch in a scorching sun-drenched Delta day while guitars and washboards bring across the musical patterns.

Sunday Wilde shows a lot of the desires she has toward men in a number of offerings, starting out of the gate with “Show Me A Man.” It’s a prayer asking for the man of her dreams and she is not too shy to describe exactly everything she is looking for. The theme continues over the course of the first nine tracks, ranging from deftly-crafted originals like “The Man Drives Me Mad” with vocal backing from Watermelon Slim, to covers of Ruth Brown’s “Daddy Daddy,” Louis Jordan’s “Early In The Morning” and Bessie Smith’s “Sorrowful Blues.” Perhaps the most distinctive cover is Willie Dixon’s “John The Conquer Root,” which may or may not have been how Dixon imagined the tune being presented. Wilde is not too subtle in her delivery coming across as a potent sexually fired piece. Oh my!

In a different vein, Wilde closes the disc out with a gospel piece titled “Come On In.” A song of praise telling of the welcoming arms of Jesus. It is a complete turn-around from the rest of the album, but what a sensational song to end it all with.

The musicians appearing on Blueberries & Grits are all first flight talent. Guitar players Johnny Cass, Dave Fecca, Robert Hughes, Gary Vincent and Sturgis Nikides deliver remarkable stylings. Reno Jack on bass and Ricky “Quicksand” Martin are an ideal rhythm section, with April Mae throwing in rhythms on the washboard. Roger Reupert plays trumpet on a handful and Billy Earheart of The Amazing Rhythm Aces masterfully shines on a J. Estey 1850 Cottage Pump Organ on four tunes. And aside from the aforementioned Watermelon Slim, Mandy Lemons is also on board for back-up vocals. All of these musicians enhance Wilde’s excellent vocals and piano work.

Sunday Wilde states that she has always wanted to do an acoustic album. Blueberries & Grits prove that her efforts were well conceived. An outstanding recording start to finish.

Running Time: 37:34

Show Me A Man / Early In the Morning / Momma’s Drinkin’s Done / That Man Drives Me Mad / Too Many Troubles / John The Conquer Root / Daddy Daddy / Sorrowful Blues / One Of These Days / Come On In

Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado

The Soul Connection
Pepper Cake

Raphael Wressnig & Igor PradoAustrian-based Hammond B3 organist Raphael Wressnig is an extremely versatile player who was influenced by people like Jimmy Smith, Booker T Jones, Joe Zawinul, Jimmy McGriff, and Jack McDuff. With twenty discs under his belt, he has been capturing the attention of audiences around the world for the past twenty years with a variety of musical approaches that he molds into his own tasty version of funky, soulful and jazzy blues. He recently traveled to Brazil to join forces with Blues Music Award nominated guitarist Igor Prado for one delicious outing of funky instrumentals and soulful R&B numbers for the album The Soul Connection. The disc is a splendid mix of original material alongside great interpretations of classic pieces from artists including the likes of Tyrone Davis, Don Robey, Hugh Masekela, Little Willie John, and Otis Clay.

Both Wressnig and Prado deliver captivating solos throughout the recording, not overdone but tastefully arranged and delivered. They’re backed by Prado’s rhythm section of Rodrigo Mantovani on bass and Yuri Prado on drums, keeping the pace right on track. Horns are perfectly intertwined with trumpeter Sidmar Viera and Blues Music Award nominee Sax” Gordon Beadle on tenor and baritone saxophones.

There are a number of great instrumentals peppered throughout the disc, including several remarkable originals like “No-La-Fun-Ky” which draws to mind the funky sound of The Meters, the jazzy romp of “The Face Slap Swing No. 5” alongside covers of Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing In The Grass” and Southern hymn-like approach on Wayne Raney’s “Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me.”

But where the album really shines is with the great vocal guests that they’ve brought into the fold. David Hudson stands tall with his take on Tyrone Davis’ “Turning Point” and Leon Beal also delivers a superb take on Don Robey’s “Don’t Cry No More.” But the true star on this disc aside from Wressnig and Prado is without doubt Wee Willie Walker who handles the singing on five tracks. His take on Otis Clay’s “Trying To Live My Life Without You” opens the disc and he shows that he is a natural foil for the musicians. All of his numbers are highlights and prove that this vocalist who re-emerged on the blues scene in 2015 was one of the most welcome come-backs of the decade.

The Soul Connection is a terrific melding of European, Brazilian and American musicians. It is a prime example of music as a universal language, especially in the hands of pure talent as it is here. Pick up a copy of The Soul Connection, you’re going to find yourself dancing along. The outcome of this recording proved so successful for Wressnig and Prado that they have recently released it as a twin pack including a live performance of the songs on the second disc.

Total Time: 50:22

Trying To Live My Life Without You Baby / Young Girl / Suffering With The Blues / Turning Point / No-La-Fun-Ky / Home At Last / Turnip Greens / My Love Is / The Face Slap Swing No. 5 / Grazing In The Grass / Don’t Cry No More / Heartbreak / Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me

Live at the Greek Theater
J&R Adventures

Reviewed by Jeff Levine

This CD/ DVD is Joe Bonamassa’s tribute to the Three Kings of the Blues: BB, Albert, and Freddie. Recorded in the historic Los Angeles Greek Theater at the end of  2015, it features a full band with horns and singers. Anton Fig (drums), Michael Rhodes (bass), Reese Wynans (piano, Hammond organ), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, horn arrangements), Paulie Cerra (saxophone),  Ron Dziublia (Tenor Saxophone) Kirk Fletcher (Rhythm Guitar), with Mahalia MacRae and Juanita Tippins (vocals).

Joe Bonamassa’s started his career as a child and played with B.B. King on stage at 12. He has released 16 solo albums in the last 14 years on his own label, J&R Adventures. His 2014 release, Different Shades of Blue, was nominated for a Grammy award. Joe is also an avid vintage guitar collector and regularly writes about collecting.

The video was on TV a few months ago. Once I saw it, I was hooked! It was a departure from Joe’s contemporary rock based interpretation of the blues. These “Kings” classics retain their original structure and feel, but with a twist.  Joe adds his amazing, blazing guitar solos, while the horns and background vocals keep the original song character. The song list features “Kings” classics that all blues lovers should recognize.

Here are a few of my favorites: “Going Down” has just enough guitar grit. “I’ll Play the Blues for You” has a wonderful sultry vibe especially with the horns and singers. “Cadillac Assembly Line” re-tells electric blues story, when the players made their way up north to find high paying factory work. Joe nails the vocals in “Hummingbird.” You can hear BB’s influence. The encore features top “Kings” blues hits: “Hideaway,” “Born Under a Bad Sign” and probably the #1 blues hit of all time, “The Thrill is Gone.” I’ve listened to the originals a lot, and even tried to play them. In Joe’s interpretation you hear how he has studied the Kings, staying true to the originals and adding a his own interpretation.  Joe closes it out with “Riding With the Kings”, a very fitting ending.

If you have not listened to Joe before, this is a great starter. And if you are familiar with his work, I think you’ll appreciate this take on the classics.

Total time: 2:05:18

See See Baby/Some Other Day, Some Other Time/Lonesome Whistle Blues/

Sittin’ on the Boat Dock/You’ve Got to Love Her With a Feeling/Going Down/I’ll Play the Blues for You/ I Get Evil/ Breaking Up Somebody’s Home/ Angel of Mercy/ Cadillac Assembly Line / Oh, Pretty Woman/Let the Good Times Roll/ Never Make Your Move Too Soon/ Ole Time Religion/ Nobody Loves Me But My Mother/Boogie Woogie Woman/ Hummingbird/ Hide Away/Born Under a Bad Sign/The Thrill Is Gone/Riding With the Kings

The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers
Vasteye Music

Recently, this year’s Grammy nominees were announced and among them was the latest release by Vasti Jackson, The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers, in the traditional category. Now, this may seem a little odd when you consider the album is a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, who has been called the original country performer, but you need to look back in time. Music was music in those early years and a lot of the songs being sung crossed ethnicity. It was only when companies began selling music that it was sorted into categories like “Hillbilly” or “Race” records for marketing purposes.

Jimmie Rodgers’ music spanned genres. He was called a variety of nicknames including “The Singing Brakeman,” “The Singing Hobo,” or “Blues Yodeler.” He was extremely popular and he had a series of hit songs that became staples of American music.

Vasti Jackson was enchanted by train songs as a young man which he has retained throughout his life. So naturally Rodgers’ music appealed to him when he heard it again recently in a tribute program. It brought back memories and he decided to pay his own tribute to the music with The Soul Of Jimmie Rodgers. But he has brought it to a more modern standard. Yes, he still performs the music as a solo artist with just his guitar as the troubadours or itinerant musicians of those earlier times would have done. The music just sounds more crisp and clear in his hands and that is more a reflection of how recordings have been improved in the past century.

The song selections will be familiar as they have stood the test of time. They also show the diversity of Rodgers’ songwriting talents to appease to listeners of the period. Jackson does not take on the yodel that Rodgers was known for and he also mixes in two of his own original compositions that easily fit in the Jimmie Rodgers mold (“Lowdown Hoedown” and “Train Rollin’ Blues”). Included are classics like “Waiting On A Train,” “Miss The Mississippi And You,” “The Women Make A Fool Out Of Me,” “In The Jailhouse Now,” and “Those Gambler’s Blues” (the last is in actuality Rodgers’ take on the traditional “St. James Infirmary”).

Vasti Jackson is an extraordinary musician and songwriter in his own right and has received a number of high accolades throughout his career as one of Mississippi’s finest Delta bluesmen. The Soul Of Jimmie Rodgers is a heartfelt tribute to an American icon. It doesn’t matter what you might decide to label it: blues, country, Hillbilly, roots, Americana or anything else. In the long run it is simply good music that continues to hold its place in our national traditional songbook.

Total Time: 36:07

Standing On The Corner / Those Gambler’s Blues / In The Jailhouse Now / Ninety-Nine Years Blues / Miss The Mississippi And You / Waiting On A Train / Hobo’s Meditation / The Women Make A Fool Out Of Me / Lowdown Hoedown / Train Rollin’ Blues