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Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith - Way Back

Way Back

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Hightone 8191

Available from Hightone Records web site

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith is best know as the great blues drummer in the legendary Muddy Waters Band, here he steps forward as a most accomplished harmonica master. He started out as a harmonica player, but soon was sitting in on drums with Muddy's band and soon was invited to join as the drummer, and this is where he sat for many years. Bob Corritore who produced this disc in Tempe, AZ, wanted to hear Willie step forward. On this disc "Big Eyes" wrote six of the eleven songs and does all the lead singing, and plays harp on all but two of the cuts, on which he plays drums, and Corritore fills in on the harp. His music is true to that traditional Chicago sound; with all those years of playing with the cream of the Chicago masters he has that "Chicago Shuffle" just pumping in his veins.

On this disc they have assembled an exemplary cast of Chicago players; Pinetop Perkins on piano, James Cotton on harmonica, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones on bass, and Bob Margolin on guitar to name but a few of those who stepped up the plate. Not only have these players come to play, they are those long time pros who know what to do, and when to play and when to sit back. This is one of those rare discs, with so many heavy hitters, that though it could get cluttered they know whose disc it is and leave the space for the leader and then step in when called. This is one of those solid Chicago Blues Shuffle disc, grab it.

Track List:

  • Don't Say That No More
  • I Don't Trust You Man
  • Read Way Back
  • Tell Me Mama
  • If You Don't Believe Im Leaving
  • Lowdown Blues
  • Woman's World
  • Don't Start Me Talkin'
  • Blues and Trouble
  • I Want You to Love Me (Trust Me)
  • Eye to Eye

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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