Lazy Lester is a legend in an era when there are few to be found, and even fewer that are still vital and exciting. The appropriately nicknamed (by Excello chief Jay Miller) harmonica player/vocalist has a sound that is generally laid back, at least. Sometimes he just borders on laconic, but he's never less than riveting in the process. Given that the Louisianan has lived outside of Detroit for more than 25 years, it's surprising that he didn't record with a local crew. That's certainly not knocking the ace players he entered the studio with. It's pretty hard to go wrong with Jimmy Vaughan, Derek O'Brien, Riley Osbourn, Gene Taylor, Sarah Brown and Sue Foley in tow.
This isn't a good CD. It's a fantastic recording. From the opening bars of the title cut through "Sad City Blues," 11 cuts later, there's nothing here that doesn't excite. Lester's as cool now as he was 35 years ago when blues audiences first heard his name. He's not a prolific songwriter. Three of the dozen tunes collected are from his pen -- "Go Ahead," with shades of "Big Town Playboy" woven in the mix, "Ponderosa Shuffle" and "I Told My Little Woman." He covers Little Brother Montgomery's "No Special Rider" and Jimmy Reed's "Love You Baby. He also delivers Lazy versions of Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya" and other decades-old Excello catalog gems with more pizzazz than I've heard in a harp blowing, guitar playing singer in a long time. You'll pardon the cliché, Lazy Lester is the real deal. He's a first-rate blues man and an originator of the swamp-blues sound. This may be the best thing he's recorded. It's a monster!
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