Hoodoo Man Blues

Hoodoo Man Blues

Recorded when Buddy Guy and Junior Wells were still known as two of Chicago’s finest sidemen, Hoodoo Man Blues thrust the pair into the spotlight and marked a turning point for Chicago blues. Up to this point, Chess Records was the dominant influence on the local scene, and recordings of all the greats were often compromised by the regulations and unabashedly commercial intentions of Leonard Chess. Bob Koester — a blues nut who founded Delmark Records and ran the Blues Record Mart — intended Hoodoo Man Blues as the antidote to Chess’s regulations. Koester wanted to capture on record how electric blues was felt and played in South Side clubs, and in that mission, this album is entirely successful. There is exceptional weight and dignity to these recordings. Every instrument is captured with total clarity. Wells and Guy give the album its bite, but special mention should be made of bassist Jack Myers and drummer Billy Warren, one of the leanest, stickiest rhythm sections every put on record. This album should be experienced front-to-back, like a nightclub set, but you’ll want extra time with “In the Wee Hours,” “Chitlin Con Carne” and “Hoodoo Man Blues.”

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