Seven Day Blues
Johnny Tucker was born to a sharecropper, the tenth of nineteen siblings. He is a self taught musician and learned by listening to Lowell Fulson and James Brown. He started singing with Phillip Walker and soon switched to the drums. He plays drums on Phillip Walker’s 1973 recording “The Bottom of The Top”. He also played with Floyd Dixon, The Five Royals and Johnny Copeland. He met James Thomas when they were both with Johnny Otis and in 1997 the duo of Tucker & Thomas recorded “Stranded”. In 2006 Tucker released his last album “Why You Lookin’ at Me” also on Highjohn Records.
This album was recorded live in 2017 during sessions at the Big Tone Studios in Hayward, California. Tucker is a true old-school blues vocalist. His band includes producer Big Jon Atkinson, guitar and bass; Bob Corritore, harmonica; Troy Sandow, harmonica and bass; Scott Smart, guitar; and Malachi Johnson or Marty Dodson, drums.
All of the songs have been written by Tucker. On “Talkin’ About You Baby” Tucker sounds like Howlin’ Wolf. Atkinson and Smart are both on guitar. Sandow is on bass and Johnson on drums.
Sandow plays some great harp on the shuffle “Tired of Doing Nothing” while Smart lays down some hot lead. The low down “Why Do You Let Me Down So Hard” and “I Wanna Do It” both feature Corritore on harp and Dodson on drums. On the title track “Seven Day Blues” harpist Sandow and guitarist Smart get into a funky groove.
On “Come On Home With Me” guitarist Atkinson plays some fine lead. “Tell You All” is a jump blues featuring west coast guitarist Kid Ramos and Bob Welch on organ. Welch plays again on “Love & Appreciation (to Georgia)” a Sam Cooke styled tune.
Tucker sounds like Jimmy Reed on both “Something I Want To Tell You” and “Do Right Man”. “Gonna Give You One More Chance” features Atkinson on lead and Smart playing rhythm. “One of These Days” just might be my favorite vocal.
The closer “You Can Leave My House Baby” contains the line “but please don’t take my heart”. It’s a great production with Sandow on harp; Smart on guitar; Atkinson on bass; and Johnson on drums.
When traditional blues is presented properly its beautiful. Tucker is a vocalist steeped in tradition. Throughout the recording he delivers the command performance of his life.
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