Rhino continues their Blues Masters Series with a great compilation of the music of the late Jimmy Reed (1925-1976). These sessions are from the period of 1953 through 1963 and include 17 classics by the Delta bluesman. Born in Dunleith, Mississippi he learned much from his youthful pal, Eddie Taylor, a devotee of Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. Moving to Chicago at 18, Reed spent a while on the revered Maxwell Street playing with Willie Joe Duncan who played a single string instrument of his own design. Jimmy desperately wanted to record and approached Chess Records but was turned down. In 1953, he was accepted by the infant Vee-Jay Recording Company and appeared on its first release, "High and Lonesome", which appears as the first track on this CD.
Although many blues critics branded Jimmy as a "lazy" performer, it was this very trait that placed him among the legends of the blues. The public, including a new "white" audience, loved Reed's laid-back down home style and these great records began to sell. You'll find his most important recordings from the Vee-Jay vaults on this reissue by Rhino. Some of the titles are: Big Boss Man, Odds and Ends, Bright Lights Big City, and the famous "Baby What You Want Me To Do" which has been covered by blues, rock and pop entertainers including Elvis.
This is a hell of a CD and deserves a spot on your blues shelf.