John Brim is one of the few remaining artists who was there when the electric Chicago Blues emerged. Although he has been quiet on the recording front for a number of years, a new album ("Jake's Blues") has recently been released together with "Authorized Blues" which is an anthology of remastered recordings mostly from half a century ago.
Brim was always a fine singer and guitarist, nothing too flashy, just honest, down-to-earth, no-nonsense Chicago Blues. His style is immediately apparent from the first couple of tracks, the rolling "Dark Clouds" and "Lonesome Man Blues," where he is accompanied by legendary pianist Roosevelt Sykes. The third track from the same session for Random sees the addition of Brim's sadly departed wife, Grace, who was a fine singer and musician too.
The next eight sides are taken from sessions for the JOB label, five of which were unissued at the time. Brim is accompanied throughout by the resident label pianist Sunnyland Slim on the six tracks from 1951. There is a fuller sound to these sides, with Moody Jones pumping out the bass on the first four, and a four piece ensemble including Eddie Taylor on guitar for two of the tracks from 1951. For the two 1952 tracks, a five piece band is used, including Big Crawford on bass, and Ernest Cotton on sax. Cotton is in particularly fine form on "Don't Leave Me" where he contributes a terrific sax break, generating a sound that must have inspired a host of subsequent amplified harp players.
The final two tracks, which were recorded for Brim's own BB label in 1971, are a family affair. Grace plays drums, while John Junior plays guitar. The first of these is the cracking instrumental, "Moving Out," and the album chugs off into the sunset in grand style with "You Put The Hurt On Me."
"Authorized Blues" is a fine album which offers a good insight into the early electric Chicago Blues sound. John Brim was (and still is) a fine singer and songwriter. Anyone with an interest in Chicago Blues should track down "Authorized Blues"--try Brim's web site, www.JohnBrim.com--to hear how the masters of the genre used to do it.
Click on the CD cover to order other CDs by John Brim.
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