Vibe - 11/98, p.170
"...JW spits, growls, and moans like a Tasmanian devil with no house training..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 4/99, p.110
"...what is thrilling here is not the material, but the new shine he applies to it, his voice sexily defiant and his strangely unreedy harp riding the ensemble like a bop trumpet....these dozen songs (and a sprinkling of outtakes) remain stunning..."
Personnel includes: Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Johnnie Jones, Fred Below, Odie Payne Jr.
The Aces include: Louis Myers, Dave Myers.
Recorded from 1953 to 1954.
Personnel: Junior Wells (vocals, harmonica); Otis Spann (guitar, piano); Elmore James, Louis Myers, Muddy Waters (guitar); Johnny Jones (piano); Dave Myers (bass guitar); Fred Below, Odie Payne, Jr. (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bob Koester.
Photographer: Ray Flerlage.
This 1998 CD reissue of Wells' debut recordings for the States label adds four previously unheard tracks along with the original 13-track vinyl lineup. Wells' legacy begins with these landmark sides, featuring Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Johnnie Jones, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, and the Aces in the lineup at various points. Whether it's a slow one like his original take on "Hoodoo Man" or a jump number like "Cut That Out," the grooves are classic Chicago and a mile deep. Most telling are the acoustic duets with Louis Myers recorded between the 1953 and 1954 studio sessions and the fine instrumentals like "Junior's Wail" and "Eagle Rock." Although at the start of a long career, it's obvious that Junior Wells was already a young man with a style all his own, ready to make blues history. File under essential. ~ Cub Koda