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About Them Shoes by Hubert Sumlin

Here’s an important blues release for fans of Hubert Sumlin. About Them Shoes is a collection of the guitarist’s recent material featuring some big name guests. With the exception of Sumlin’s own This Is The End, Little Girl, all songs come from the pens of Muddy Waters or Willie Dixon.

Hubert Sumlin is a legendary guitarist and spent about twenty five years with Howlin’ Wolf and a brief period with Muddy Waters. He is nominated for a 2005 W.C.Handy Award in the traditional blues category. Sumlin was featured on Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival which is now available on a Rhino DVD. Rolling Stone include Hubert Sumlin on their list of 100 Greatest Guitarists.

The new album kicks off with Willie Dixon’s I’m Ready and a dizzying guitar battle between Clapton and Sumlin. There is no time for the listener to recover before Sumlin and Keith Richards deliver a smokey version of of Muddy Waters’ Still A Fool in quartet format. The 51/2 minute track is an absolute gem! James Cotton arrives on the scene for a loping take on She’s Into Something with a vocal by George Receli. By the seventh track, Evil, listeners will begin to realize two things. First is the fact that Hubert Sumlin is a blues treasure. Secondly, is the fact that you are grooving to a collection of the finest backup players on the scene. About Them Shoes starts off with a bang and then accelerates. It gets better and better as it goes. Listen to David Johansen’s knockout vocal on Willie Dixon’s The Same Thing and Nathaniel Peterson shoutin’ Don’t Go No Farther over a throbbing band. Sumlin even honors us with a rare vocal on the last track.

The album has it all! The various rhythm sections are fabulous, there are great harp players, and a kick-ass piano player David Maxwell. This CD rocks 100%. Is this the best traditional blues CD that I’ve heard this year? Well, it’s only March but it will take a hell of an album to dethrone Hubert Sumlin in my books.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Hubert Sumlin
  • CD Title: About Them Shoes
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Tone Cool - Artemis
  • Tracks: I’m Ready; Still A Fool; She’s Into Something; Iodine In My Coffee; Look What You’ve Done; Come Home Baby; Evil; Long Distance Call; The Same Thing; Don’t Go No Farther; I Love The Life I Live, I Live The Life I Love; Walkin’ Through The Park; This Is The End, Little Girl.
  • Musicians: Hubert Sumlin (guitar, vocal on track 13); Guest stars: Keith Richards (vocal, guitar); Eric Clapton (guitar, vocal); James Cotton (harmonica); David Johansen (vocals); Mudcat Ward (bass); Levon Helm (drums); Paul Oscher (harmonica, slide guitar); Bob Margolin (guitar).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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