"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
Mad Dog Lester Davenport has been a sideman to Bo Diddley and Big Daddy Kinsey for years but you've never head of him? You're probably not alone as it has taken the harmonica player 11 years to follow up his debut recording, When The Blues Hits You. Although the maiden release got stellar reviews, Davenport retreated from recording until now. Was it worth the wait? Well, it's not a bad record but it's nothing groundbreaking and while Lester can stand toe to toe with any Chicago blues harp player, including James Cotton, there's nothing very exciting about this record. With the help from friends, guitarist and producer Jimmy Dawkins; Detroit Junior on piano; Allen Batts, also on piano; Jimi Schutte on drums and Bob Stroger on bass, Mad Dog has recorded a very good clone of old Chess recordings. With a Little Walter sound, he effectively mimics 1960's Chicago blues down to the finest detail.
However, neither his songwriting nor voice is very memorable. Simply put, this is a case of too little too late.
If you like your blues straight with no chaser then I Smell A Rat would be an adequate addition to your collection. However, if you lean towards progressive blues styles such as, Derek Trucks or Gov't Mule, or contemporary blues artists such as, Joe Louis Walker or Robert Cray, this would only disappoint you as it is very old school blues which is very tired sounding.
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