Live At Rosa’s
Linsey Alexander is a classic Chicago bluesman. Born in Mississippi he moved to Memphis with his family when he was twelve. He has played with everyone from B.B. King, to Magic Slim and Buddy Guy. After being part of the Chicago scene Alexander released his solo debut “Someone’s Cooking in My Kitchen” in 2004. Included was the song “Hoochieman” and that has been his nickname ever since.
Alexander signed and released his first Delmark album “Been There Done That” in 2012. Two more studio albums followed: 2014’s “Come Back Baby” and 2017’s Two Cats”. The live set here was recorded on two nights in May of 2019. Alexander, guitar and vocals; was accompanied by Sergei Androschin, guitar; Roosevelt Purifoy, keyboards; Ron Simmons, bass; and “Big” Ray Stewart, drums. Alexander really knows how to work a room and this live set captures him at his best. The performance is brought to us by the Delmark team of producer Julia A. Miller; recording engineer Steve Wagner, and is mixed by Elbio Barilari. In the liner notes the team references Otis Rush and his highly praised Delmark release “All Your Love, I Miss Loving: Live at the Wise Fool’s Pub Chicago” as their reference point for this production. They aimed for an “updated big modern sound with a classic concept”. Alexander possesses the energy and warmth of the great ones.
Included are five Alexander originals and four covers from artists that inspired him. Alexander opens with B.B. King’s “Please Love Me”, first recorded live in 1965. Interestingly the song was also the opening track on the Otis Rush live album mentioned above recorded forty-three years prior. Alexander’s intro and solo are fabulous as he sings “If you love me baby, you’ll do everything I say…if you don’t love me baby, you better get down on your knees and pray”. Purifoy adds some great organ
The originals include the title track “My Days Are So Long” reprised from Alexander’s 2006 independently issued album on the Hoochie Man label. “Going Back To My Same Old Used To Be”, reprised from his 2012 Delmark recording is based on a riff learned from his son, Nick Alexander, also an accomplished guitarist; the apple don’t fall far from the tree. Three more originals appeared on the 2014 studio album “Come Back Baby” including “I Got A Woman”; “Goin’ Out Walking”, and the descriptive “Snowing in Chicago”.
The other covers that helped to inspire Alexander include “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” recorded by Freddie King in 1969, featuring some beautiful guitar work and a great vocal from Alexander; “Ships On The Ocean” written and recorded by Junior Wells in 1965; and Benny Latimore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout Cha’” first recorded in 1976, featuring a slower classic beat and another great vocal.
Alexander’s performance of originals and covers pays respect to tradition. This is a career defining live recording from the folks at Delmark that should bring Alexander the love and respect he deserves.