Wednesday, June 17, 2015

J.B. Hutto & His Hawks, Hawk Squat, with Sunnyland Slim

From the considerable archives of Delmark Chicago blues classics comes a welcome reissue of the 1966-1968 perennial by J.B. Hutto & His Hawks, Hawk Squat (Delmark 617). It reappears now in a new deluxe edition with an extra six unissued tracks and a 20-page booklet.

It's of course the raw-and-real Hutto at his best, lighting the house on fire with his electrifying voice and slide guitar. Sunnyland Slim is on piano, too. And the band as a whole goes full tilt throughout.

When you hear it, you know it. "You just ain't no good" he signifies on the opening "Speak My Mind," and you believe it! And when he sings about how what few friends you have left "groan when they hear your name," you know he is hitting the essence of the blues. The entire 18-track sequence puts you at the edge of your blues seat, because that's the way it was with him, that's the way it was in Chicago, and that's always the way it is when the blues really SPEAK to you.

This is a classic among classics. The extra cuts remind you he was permanently switched to the "on" position back then.

Highest recommendations for this one! It's a blues essential.

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