By: Sarah Moore
On The Jimmy Reed Highway (Ruf) is a tribute to the late blues musician who some say is as important to the Southern blues tradition as Robert Johnson. The Rolling Stones and many other '60s British blues acts cite the man as a major influence on their music. Modern day bluesman, Omar Kent Dykes performs Reed classics including "Big Boss Man" (famously covered by The Dead) and "Bright Lights Big City," both songs on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list. Ex-Fabulous Thunderbird and brother to Stevie, Jimmie Vaughan plays guitar and sits shotgun on this road trip to bluestown.
Dykes' grizzly vocals and Vaughan's solid electric blues are rounded out by esteemed guest musicians Delbert McClinton, James Cotton, Lou Ann Barton and Gary Clark Junior. The Texas blues sound is achieved with loads of fluid harmonica and a neck nodding electric rhythm. The disc was created in a freewheeling, fun way, and that feeling comes through the speakers. This is not to say the playing is sloppy or the production choppy. Rather, the finesse Reed's playing style and compositional skill comes across in their relaxed attitude. The disc includes Reed originals as well as two tracks by Dykes and Steve Callif honoring the influential bluesman.
JamBase | Down South
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