Big Jake Records
Paul Filipowicz was born in Chicago in 1950. One night while listening to the radio he heard songs by both Sonny Boy Williamson II and Muddy Waters and got bitten by the blues bug. His first exposure to live blues music was going to see Otis Rush. Paul says “The only way my dad could get out of the house on a Saturday night was to take us boys along, and man did we see some joints!” Self taught he learned to play without a guitar pick and his influences include Magic Sam, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Dawkins and Luther Allison. He has opened for Hound Dog Taylor, Mighty Joe Young and many others. Filipowicz released his debut album in 1996. His last release was 2015’s “Rough Neck Blues Live!” recorded at The Knuckle Down Saloon in Madison, WI. Filipowicz is a member of The Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.
This is Filipowicz’ 10th recording. The band includes Filipowicz, guitars and vocals; the rhythm section of Rick Smith, bass; and Chris Sandoval (who worked with Tommy Castro), drums; and Benny Rickun, harp (from Reverend Raven and The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys). Also featured is the horn section of Tom Sobel, saxophones; and Jack Naus, trumpet. The album was recorded at “Makin Sausage” Studios, in Milwaukee.
Filipowicz says he “wanted to pay homage to the sounds that were in the air when I was growing up”. Included are Jimmy Wilson’s 1953 “Tin Pan Alley” released on Big Town Records; two Magic Sam covers, the beautifully sung “All My Whole Life Baby” and “Everything Gonna Be All Right” both recorded on Cobra Records in 1958; Little Milton’s “I Found A New Love” from 1959; Howlin’ Wolf’s “Howling For My Darling”, featuring pianist Jimmy Voegeli, originally released on Chess Records in 1960; and Lowell Fulsom’s “Reconsider Baby” from 1962 with a great horn arrangement. These are performed with a reverence.
Five Filipowicz originals are also included. “Brand New Hat”; “My Woman” and “Riding High” are well written songs with some especially fine guitar. My favorites however are the two instrumentals. “Canal Street” is “the street sounds from the ears of a ten year old out past eleven o’clock at night” featuring Rickun on harp. While the guitar shuffle and title track “Unfiltered” is “an attempt to condense…all the music drifting through the air during these excursions”.
This is Paul Filipowicz, his heritage and his tribute.