- Released: August 20, 1991
- Label: Delmark
- 1.Needmore Has Harmed Many A Man
- 2.If The River Was Whiskey
- 3.Everybody's Got To Change Sometime
- 4.Walking Down Beale Street
- 5.Laura Had A Dream
- 6.Newport Blues - (previously unreleased)
- 7.May West
- 8.How To Sing These Blues
- 9.Sweet Little Flower
- 10.I Ain't Gonna Sell It
- 11.Easin' Back To Tennessee - (previously unreleased)
- 12.Airplane - (previously unreleased)
- 13.Drop Down Mama-Let Your Papa See
Personnel: Sleepy John Estes (vocals, guitar); Jimmy Dawkins (guitar); Carey Bell (harmonica); Sunnyland Slim (piano); Earl Hooker, Joe Harper (bass); Odie Payne Jr. (drums).
Recorded on December 3 & 5, 1968.
Personnel: Sleepy John Estes (vocals); Jimmy Dawkins (guitar); Carey Bell (harmonica); Sunnyland Slim (piano); Odie Payne, Jr. (drums).
Liner Note Author: Robert G. Koester.
Recording information: Sound studios (12/03/1968-12/05/1968).
To a country blues purist, asking Sleepy John Estes to record an album of electric Chicago blues is an act of blasphemy. So imagine the reaction of such elitists when, in 1968, Delmark president Bob Koester united the Tennessee bluesman with an electric-oriented Chicago blues band that included Jimmy Dawkins on electric guitar, Sunnyland Slim on piano, Carey Bell on harmonica, and Earl Hooker or Joe Harper on electric bass. Purists were appalled, and they had no kind words for the resulting album, Electric Sleep. But if they hadn't been so close-minded, they would have realized that this is a decent album, if an uneven and unremarkable one. While Estes' vocal style is pretty much the same, the band is pure Chicago blues -- and when you think it, the combination makes perfect sense. Chicago's electric blues were a logical extension of southern country blues, just as rock & roll, soul, and funk were a logical extension of electric Chicago blues and jump blues (and just as hip-hop is a logical extension of funk and soul). Hearing a 69-year-old Estes backed by Chicago bluesmen like Dawkins and Hooker offended purists, but Electric Sleep (which was reissued on CD in 1991) is nothing for Delmark to be ashamed of. Although not among Estes' essential recordings, Electric Sleep is an interesting footnote in his long career. ~ Alex Henderson