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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Robert Lockwood Jr. & The Aces - Steady Rollin' Man

When it came to recording an album as a leader, Arkansas native turned Chicago session guitarist Robert Lockwood, Jr. was definitely a late bloomer. Lockwood was first recorded as a sideman in 1941, but not until he was 55 did he record his first album as a leader, with 1970s Steady Rollin' Man (although he had provided a few singles here and there in the '40s and '50s). So why the delay? It came down to the fact that Lockwood had been so busy as a sideman: names like Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter and Otis Spann look very good on a résumé when you're a blues guitarist. But on Steady Rollin' Man, Lockwood is both a singer and a guitarist (Louis Myers helps with the guitar playing), and he sings on all of the tracks except for a few instrumentals. Steady Rollin' Man generally reflects Lockwood's many years of playing on electric Chicago blues sessions, and yet, his appreciation of Mississippi Delta blues icon Robert Johnson also comes through on this album (which ranges from Lockwood's own material to versions of Curtis Jones' "Blues and Trouble" and Joe Liggins' "Tanya"). This is a disc that, despite its electric orientation, is well aware of the subtlety of acoustic country-blues, and Lockwood's performances are fairly laid-back. Steady Rollin' Man (which Delmark reissued on CD in 2007) rocks, although it doesn't rock nearly as aggressively as the Chicago-style performances that Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy (just to give two examples) were offering in 1970. Nonetheless, Lockwood's emotional power comes through on an enjoyable outing that sounds like it was recorded in the big city but demonstrates that he never forgot about the blues of the rural South. (Alex Henderson - Allmusic)

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this fine recording...Nappyrags

Anonymous said...

Man.... A chip off the old black he was not.

Anonymous said...

"Robert Junior"!! LOL....!!