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Jimmy Rogers All-Stars
Blues Blues Blues
Atlantic CD 83148 1998 (54:47)

Fine farewell to a bluesman's bluesman

Tom Netherland

Talk about a last hurrah. Bluesman Jimmy Rogers died shortly before completion of his latest album, "Blues Blues Blues."

Jimmy who?

Okay, even many ardent blues fans were unfamiliar with him. But before his death in December 1997, the Mississippi-born guitarist managed to assemble a stellar cast of admirers that reads like a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Who's Who, to record what amounted to his farewell. What a way to go.

Rogers, who was the last living original member of Muddy Waters' band, was joined by Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Jeff Healey, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, among others, in the making of this album.


Three tracks feature Jagger and Richards. Embracing their roots, one listen to "Trouble No More" and it's pretty obvious that it's not only rock'n'roll for rock's Glimmer Twins. Jagger and Rogers sound like kindred souls and Richards, a wayward bluesman who's finally come home to roost.

Likewise, paint-peeling performances of "Don't Start Me To Talkin'" and "Goin' Away Baby," may make many wonder why the Stones don't do this more often. Play the blues, that is.

Blues-blazers ("Blow Wind Blow" with Healey) and juke-joint raves ("Bright Lights Big City" with Taj Mahal), smoldering smokers ("Blues All Day Long" with Clapton) and a jaw dropping jam with Page and Plant on "Gonna Shoot You Right Down (Boom Boom)," finds a reveling Rogers dueling it out with his more famous fans. Tasty.

Alas, a few kinks taint what amounts to Rogers' tribute. Mediocre readings of "Ludella" (featuring Taj Mahal) and "Sweet Home Chicago" (with Stephen Stills) squander what could have been a completely outstanding album.

Still, "Blues Blues Blues" powerfully punctuates a brilliant career spent in relative anonymity. Jimmy Rogers. Get to know him. You'll be in a distinguished drove.

performers  Jimmy Rogers, guitar, vocals; Johnnie Johnson, piano; Kim Wilson, harmonica; Carey Bell, harmonica; Ted Harvey, drums; Freddie Crawford, bass; with a little help from; Lowell Fulson; Taj Mahal; Jeff Healey; Mick Jagger; Jimmy Page; Robert Plant; Stephen Stills; Eric Clapton; Keith Richards

production  Ahmet Ertegun, executive producer; John Koenig, Elaine Koenig, producers; John Rodd, Jimmy Romeo, Mike Scotella, Alan Sanderson, Mike Smith, John Tyree, engineers; Bernie Grundman, mastering

songs  Blow Wind Blow · Blues All Day Long · Trouble No More · Bright Lights, Big City · Every Day I Have the Blues · Sweet Home Chicago · Don't Start Me to Talkin' · That's All Right · Ludella · Goin' Away Baby · Worried Life Blues · Gonna Shoot You Right Down (Boom Boom)

of related interest

Jimmy Rogers
The Complete Chess Recordings,MCA-Chess 2xCD CHD2-9372
Blue Bird, Analogue Productions CD 2001 or JVC CD JVCXR-0015-2

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