If he’d been born just a little bit later, blues singer/guitarist/songwriter J.B. Lenoir (1929-1967), might’ve been an early rock & roll star like Chuck Berry. As it was, Lenoir laid down a small but impressive and enduring body of work that blurs the boundaries between country blues and urban blues, between juke joint jump and the coffeehouse, between the grizzled older blues cats and the younger, more irreverent upstarts that followed in their wake. Influenced by such country-to-city bluesmen as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Arthur "Big Boy Crudup, Lenoir upped the Chicago/12-bar format ante by working a healthy jolt of New Orleans gumbo flavor (think Fats Domino, Prof. Longhair) and the jump-blues style of Louis Jordan, and went even further out on the proverbial limb by writing songs about more than the usual whisky ‘n’ wimmin troubles. Some of his early 50s topical songs were even yanked off the market for fear they might "offend" (It was the 50s, after all), with titles like "Korea Blues" and "Eisenhower Blues." Singing in a tart, slightly androgynous wail and playing some rough-edged, stinging guitar, Lenoir wasn’t trying to bum anybody out, though: he lets the good times roll with the churning "Voodoo Boogie" and the young hepcat’s hair-alert warning "Don’t Touch My Head." J.B. wasn’t the best-known blues guy and he left us too early - hopefully, this new collection, released in conjunction with The Blues documentaries on PBS, will rectify that mass cultural oversight.