There has not been so much excitement about a 1970s re-release since Little Mack Simmons' recordings from this timeframe first appeared on disc a few years ago. Twelve unconquerable tracks, including 10 originals, have been compiled from two Ovation Records LPs. "Chicken Heads" (1974) and "Mighty Joe Young" (1976) have long been out of print. The selections taken from the former are more raw whereas the cuts from the latter are more polished. Although culled from different recording sessions with different bands, the tracks on the 47 minute disc seamlessly fit together.
"Green Light" contains a classic 1970s funky rhythm guitar groove delivered invincibly by William Chinnock. Many things about the song reveal when it was recorded. However, the greatest factor is the penetrating synthesizer of Ed Tossing. Although still very green at the time, Ken Saydak's work, in particular on "I Give", hints at the brilliant keyboard player he would become. You will be touched by his humbling liner notes. Mighty Joe Young commonly and proudly described his music as 'blues with a touch of soul'. To experience this in its fullest, listen to "Something On Your Mind" with Joe's intoxicating and mellow lead guitar. He plays delicate lead with the right amount of feistiness on "Serve My Time". On both, Ira Gates vibrantly pounds his skins. For the ultimate definitive blues song, check out "As The Years Go Passing By". When Young introduces the song by saying: 'this is what you call the blues, everyday of my life I have the blues, I love the blues, I even sleep with the blues', you know he meant it, felt it and lived it. You will not get through this song without a mass of goose bumps breaking out all over your body. The double lead guitar (one for each channel) is paramount and made this one of the most contemporary blues compositions of its day. On it, the unobtrusive piano of Floyd Morris supremely complements Young.
At the time of these recordings, Mighty Joe Young had become one of the first blues artists to break through on Chicago's North Side. Unfortunately in 1986, complications arose from surgery and he wasn't ever able to play the guitar they way he used to. Complications from surgery further haunted him in 1999. This time proving to be fatal. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1927, the former boxer moved to Chicago in 1956. Although he is gone, he is still mighty. With this sleek CD, you can return to the era that he depicts in "Take Over Chicago". A time when he was the lead architect, responsible for building the modern Chicago Blues sound that we continue to enjoy today.
For CDs and further information, contact: Blind Big Records, PO Box 2344, San Francisco, CA 94126 website: www.blindpigrecords.com In Canada, Blind Pig is distributed by Stony Plain Records www.stonyplainrecords.com
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