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CD Review
Little Hatch
"Goin' Back"
Analogue Productions Originals - APO 2007
By Dave "Doc" Piltz
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I have listened to Goin' Back by long time Kansas City harp player Little Hatch about twenty times in the past two weeks. In addition to the fact that I think it is a really good CD, I am continually amazed that this disc was recorded in only three hours with no rehearsals!

Previne Hatch, Jr. (a.k.a., Little Hatch) was born in Sledge, Mississippi where he grew up under the musical influence of such notables as Robert Johnson and Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II). Coming out of the service after World War II, Hatch made a stop in Kansas City and liked what he saw. After stopping by to visit his family who had moved to Helena, Arkansas, Hatch relocated to Kansas City permanently in 1946. Hatch's musical career didn't really begin until about 1962 when he started working with guitarist George Jackson. Prior to that time Hatch worked in a variety of jobs including truck driver, security guard and mailman. Currently, Hatch lives on an 80-acre farm in El Dorado Springs, Missouri and plays his harp predominantly in the Kansas City area. Hatch's discography includes only two other recordings; the limited German 1972 release, The Little Hatchet (M&M Records - LP3001) and a 1992 live recording, Well, All Right! (Modern Blues Recording - MBR1204).

Goin' Back was recorded on the spur of the moment at the tail end of a scheduled recording session by Chicago guitarist, Jimmie Lee Robinson. After convincing the visiting Hatch to record Goin' Back, long time Hatch guitarist, Bill Dye, was brought in and provided the only accompaniment to Hatch's vocals and harp. Needless to say the resulting 12 cuts are excellent!

Only one of the twelve tunes on the CD was written by Hatch. In addition to Hatch's original composition, "Long As My Right Arm," the disc contains a variety of covers by a host of legendary blues and R&B performers including Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, Buster Brown and Ray Charles.

All twelve songs are well done and include some fine guitar work by Dye backing up Hatch's fine harp work and strong vocals. Given the song selection and the variety of songs on the recording, Hatch's treatment of such blues mainstays as "Rock Me Baby" and "The Sky Is Crying" is refreshingly original. Only two of the twelve songs, "Glory Glory" and "Long As My Right Arm," are less than four minutes long. However, each and every song is so well done, you never really get the feeling that any of the songs are too long. Some of my other favorites on the CD were "She's Nineteen Years Old" and "Honey Bee (Buzz On)," both written by Muddy Waters; Buster Brown's classic, "Fannie Mae" and "I Got A Woman" by Ray Charles.

Despite the extremely compressed timeframe, this is one really excellent disc. When you consider that Hatch did this disc in three hours and of his two previous recordings, one was live and the other homemade by a German exchange student, you can only imagine what might result given greater planning and preparation. That is one project that cannot happen soon enough for me!

This review is copyright © 1999 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.

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