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Devildown (DEVILDOWNCD005)

Don't Leave Me Baby, I'm Sorry, Anywhere I Go, Forty Train, Do The Romp, Feel Alright, Do The Bump, Keep Your Hands Off Her, Got My Eyes On You, Two Trains Running, I Asked For Water, Forty Four, Made The Boy Love You.

Have you watched Robert Palmer's documentary ‘Deep Blues? Then you'll have seen Little Joe Ayers playing with Junior Kimbrough who he spent thirty years with as guitarist/bassist in one of North Mississippi's most loved bands, The Soul Blues Boys.

Joe missed out on most of Junior's success because he'd semi-retired just before the Fat Possum stuff became so popular, but producer Reed Turchi and blues guitarist Kenny Brown persuaded him to pick up his acoustic guitar and record these Hill Country bumps, as Joe calls them, out on Kenny's front porch.

It's a cracking CD full of all the right moves with Joe cruising confidently through numbers he must have played for years. He includes old Soul Blues Boys numbers like Do The Romp and Keep Your Hands Of Her, Muddy Waters' track Two Trains Running, Howlin' Wolf's Forty Four and I Asked For Water, John Lee Hooker's hit Dimples (Joe has re-titled it Got My Eyes On You) and a nice rural remake of Junior Parker's Feelin' Good. These are topped off with a bunch of his own tunes such as the instrumental Do The Bump which sparkles with a driving choppy beat and sinuous chord changes then I'm Sorry grooves along on top of some perkily hypnotic guitar work and Anywhere I Go features some intricate picking that rides over the insistent backbeat that is so typical of the Junior Kimbrough school of blues.

This is the real thing: The genuine kind of back-porch-country blues that reverberated round the hill country in the fifties and sixties. It's laid back, relaxed and recorded in the old way with no second takes and no overdubbing. They just turned on the equipment and let it roll. Amongst the great music, you hear chirping crickets, a cat up a tree and a ringing telephone but do you know what? They all contribute to the wonderful atmospheric feel that makes this recording just perfect.


Review Date: October 2011

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