Search - Sonny Boy Williamson :: Down & Out Blues

Down & Out Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson
Down & Out Blues
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Japanese version featuring 6 bonus tracks: 'I Don't Know (Outtake)', 'Fatning Frogs For Snakes (Outtake)', 'Your Imagination', 'Let Your Conflicts Be Your Guide', 'Trust My Baby', & 'Bye Bye Bird'


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CD Details

All Artists: Sonny Boy Williamson
Title: Down & Out Blues
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Electric Blues, Harmonica Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 076731127224


Album Description
Japanese version featuring 6 bonus tracks: 'I Don't Know (Outtake)', 'Fatning Frogs For Snakes (Outtake)', 'Your Imagination', 'Let Your Conflicts Be Your Guide', 'Trust My Baby', & 'Bye Bye Bird'

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CD Reviews

Old album, not a new package
Blues Bro | Lakewood, Colorado USA | 11/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You can find any of these tracks on many of the dozens of sony boy's compilations. The exciting thing about this release is that this is an original album of the late fifties. That means that many of the artists that were influenced by Sonny Boy, first got to listen to him via this album. In fact, John Mayall once said that this is one of his all time favourite albums. All these recordings are from Chess, and are among the best lyrics ever written in blues history."
A true classic
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 07/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you don't want to dig deeper into your pockets for Chess Records' double-disc "The Essential Sonny Boy Williamson", this could be what you're looking for.

"Down And Out Blues" is one of the finest albums ever from the renowned Chicago blues label Chess Records. First issued in 1959, it is 34 minutes worth of some of the best electric blues ever recorded...Aleck "Rice" Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) was the best songwriter of all the legendary Chess artists, an elegant and expressive singer (in spite of his hoarse, slightly nasal voice), and a tremendous harmonica player. Claims that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for not having to breathe while he performed were once recounted with utter seriousness in the liner notes to one of his 60s LPs.

On this wonderful slice of gritty blues, Miller is backed by men like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Fred Below, and Otis Spann in a virtual blues summit, but Miller is always front and centre, his rhythmic harp blasts alternating with quivering solos and fills. His standard combo (bassist Dixon, drummer Fred Below, guitarists Robert "Jr." Lockwood and Luther Tucker, and top-notch piano player Spann) is smouldering behind him on songs like "99" and "Let Me Explain", and while Miller's lyrics can easily stand alone, such tremendous backing makes them shine even brighter.

"Down And Out Blues" includes several of Rice Miller's best and best-known songs, like "Don't Start Me To Talkin'", "Fatterning Frogs For Snakes", and "All My Love In Vain", as well as a few lesser-known but often equally impressive numbers. "Wake Up Baby", a swaggering mid-tempo shuffle with a jazzy feel and tremendous lyrics, is a slightly more dignified (and musically more interesting) version of the hilarious folk song "Three Nights Drunk" is unique to this CD, and it's a mystery why so many compilers have missed that one.
(I have to mention that the song which is listed - here and on the cover and in the liner notes - as "Keep It To Yourself" is not the song which is usually known under that, but rather one which is called "Please Forgive". It has somehow made it on to this album under the wrong title, being listed in the Chess files as "Please Forgive (Keep It To Yourself)". Great song, though...apart from this album, it only appears on Charly's fabulous box set "The Chess Years", which isn't in print at this time.)

This CD is currently only in print in Asia, I believe; an expanded version which features several bonus tracks. But you can get it as part of a twofer-package with the 1965 album "In Memorium".
Almost every song is available on one or more of the various MCA/Chess compilations, of course, but Sonny Boy's first album is nice to have anyway. It is one of the best blues LP ever issued."
Classic album by Sonny Boy
Jostein Berntsen | Porsgrunn, Norway | 08/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sonny Boy Williamson was the first blues artist I started listening to, and he opened a world of exciting music for me. Sonny Boy was one of the major artists at Chess Records and Little Walter's greatest competitor in the 50's on blues harmonica. He had a delta background from the south, and soon developed an urban Chicago sound when he moved north in the early 50's. This album is a great starter to get into this man's many great songs. What was so great with Sonny Boy Williamson was not only his singing and playing, but he also wrote a lot of classic songs with exciting and intriguing lyrics. He was a bandleader at the stature of Muddy Waters and a good arranger too. Among my all-time favourites are 'I don't know', 'Fattening frogs for snakes' and 'Cross my heart'. Escpecially the last song, which is a slow intense blues, gives you a feeling what the blues is all about. The harmonica solo on this song is one of the best I have heard on record by any artist. This album is a must-buy for the music lover."