Friday, May 2, 2014
Koko Taylor - Southside Baby
There are couple of old warhorses here, somewhat superflous re-recordings of a handful of Taylor's 1960s Chess singles, but there is also a lot of good stuff which you won't find anywhere else. Koko Taylor's own "What Kind Of Man Is This" makes it debut on this album, a grinding mid-tempo blues and one of her best original songs, and she does well by Lillian Offitt's "Wonder Why".
Well, maybe you won't. But judged on its own merits this is a fine album, not least because of the excellent band. Koko Taylor is backed by the Aces (drummer Fred Below and brothers Lou and Dave Myers on guitar and bass), and by none other than Muddy Waters' former guitarist Jimmy Rogers and stylish pianist Willie Mabon, both of them frequent bandleaders themselves. Mabon's elegant playing is particularly delightful, and Taylor's voice is, of course, made to sing the blues.
So, let's sum it up. This is not an absolutely necessary purchase. Not as necessary as Taylor's classic Chess sides or the best of her Alligator sides, certainly. But there is a lot of good stuff here nevertheless, and serious fans will definitely want a listen. It is a bit of an oddity, "South Side Lady", but it's not half bad. Not at all.
(original Southside Lady CD with 6 extra tracks review by D. Discimus, edited to fit the LP)
It's a shame that Black&Blue couldn't find/use a more flattering photo of Koko for the cover.