Down Beat - 1/96, p.494.5 Stars
- Very Good/Excellent - "...[Williams] uses his big and tough voice to sing...with passion, conviction, forbearance. His homemade guitar also captures his deep feeling....exemplifies the Delta tradition, reflecting a proud man's attempts to deal with adversity....The sound reproduction...is excellent..."
Dirty Linen - 4-5/96, p.51
"...With his gruff, blustery voice, Williams brings to mind the foreboding menace of acoustic John Lee Hooker..."
Living Blues - 3-4/96, p.92
"...For those discovering the joys of acoustic Delta blues for the first time, MISSISSIPPI'S BIG JOE WILLIAMS AND HIS NINE-STRING GUITAR offers the chance to be initiated into some of the music's deepest and most passionate secrets, by one of the all-time masters."
Solo performer: Big Joe Williams (vocals, guitar).
Reissue producer: Matt Walters.
Recorded at MBS Recording Studios, Chicago, Illinois on July 13 & 20, 1961. Originally released on Folkways (3820). Includes liner notes by Pete Welding.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
Personnel: Big Joe Williams (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Author: Pete Welding.
Recording information: MBS Recording Studios, Chicago, IL (07/13/1961/07/20/1961).
Photographers: Lars Swanberg; Pete Welding.
Those who've never heard Big Joe Williams might be genuinely surprised at just how outstanding a musician he was, being tremendously accomplished on his self-made nine-string guitar and with vocals as expressive and forceful as Muddy Waters. Beautifully remastered, this collection finds Williams' talents at their peak with a fine variation of raw country blues like "Whistling Pines" and "Kings Highway Blues," and more strongly uptempo tracks like "Somebody's Been Fooling #1" and "King Bisquit Stomp #2." None of the thirteen tracks disappoint, as this ranks among the strongest releases in the Big Joe Williams' catalogue. ~ Matt Fink