Saturday, May 21, 2016

Big Joe Williams "Don't Your Plums Look Mellow Hanging on Your Tree" 1974

To be honest I have mixed emotions for the american blues revival from the early to mid sixties, when they rediscovered old legends like Skip James, Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Bukka White and many others. The bluesmen obviously deserved it. But in my opinion many of the acoustic albums those legends recorded back then are totaly wrong produced, and seriously quite boring. They are so indistinct and harmless. If they for example had a small band backed them up it was produced as it was a homely jazz record for cocktail parties. To me those legends were the first true rockers, not some jazzmen. Of course there are tons of great recordings by those artists i mentioned from that era too. But, to me the above record by Big Joe Williams from 1974 is a great example of how you should have treated a bluesman. Williams strange nine-stringed guitar is half electric and cracky, a nice echo effect on his aged and fragile voice, backed by a tight drummer and a bass player wich groovin' as they were recorded a funky rock album. I believe this album could have been a benchmark when R.L. Burnside hooked up with Jon Spencer in the mid nineties, and for the Fat Possum lable in general. This was the last proper album Big Joe Williams recorded (he made some sprinkle recordings in the late seventies, and died 1982) and it sure kick some ass!



  1. That's some deranged guitar-playing. Goes to show you don't got to worry about a thing if you got the groove going. Most excellent!

  2. The guitar-playing and the nine-string guitar is deranged:-)