Jimmy Lane
@ Biscuits & Blues, April 5, 1997

Chicago blues guitar runs in the Rogers family. Jimmy Lane, the son of legendary Chicago blues man Jimmy Rogers, made his debut Minneapolis performance in April. Jimmy's power trio format with Freddie Crawford on bass and Neal Rose on drums features Lane's lightning fast guitar playing and deep, rumbling, bluesy vocals. He started off the night with a flurry of nice Freddie King licks and didn't let up all night. He did play some slower blues numbers but even those had a blistering heat about them.

As a young teenager Lane heard Jimi Hendrix do Hey Joe and was hooked - he knew the guitar was what he wanted to play. Even though he grew up with the blues all around him (his father being the instrumental first guitarist in Muddy Water's band in the early 1950's) he didn't take the blues seriously until his late teens. At that time he started really listening to the blues playing of guitarists like Albert King, Robert Johnson and his dad, Jimmy Rogers. He learned his lessons well developing into a superb guitar player. In 1982 his dad's band was in need of guitar player and Jimmy was free so he filled in and started touring with the Jimmy Rogers band and has been with him ever since. His first CD, Long Gone, was recently released and includes a wide variety of songs from an old number originally done in the 1940's by Jimmy Rogers and Sunnyland Slim called I'm In Love to the Dylan I Shall Be Released.

During his Biscuits & Blues show he played a haunting version of Otis Rush's All Your Love. If you closed your eyes you could almost imagine Otis Rush in the room with you. His John Lee Hooker's Boom, Boom allowed him to put his deep, growling voice to good use. He started off the second set playing several songs without a break in between and at a frightening pace that left us breathless! At several points in the show he had the audience's eyes glued to his fingers with those lightning strikes on his strings. His second set was almost a non-stop guitar solo. When he played my requested Hide Away I thought I was listening to the Freddie King recording until he switched gears and added some remarkable touches that displayed his own trademark riffs. Throughout the entire show he played some great modern day Chicago blues - blues that were founded in the classic 1950's sound. At age 35 Jimmy Lane is one of the new breed of Chicago bluesmen who are carrying on the tradition of the post-war Chicago blues giants.

Copyright 1997 by Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved. All reviews are copyright protected. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.