One of the all-time blues greats was, first and foremost, a songwriter. Even his talents as a producer and bassist (even briefly running his own label) overshadowed his output as a recording artist. And, depending on how you categorize the albums that first featured his name on the cover (five with Memphis Slim from 1959-63), 1970’s I Am The Blues is Willie Dixon’s first solo album. You should already know these songs, as they are the cream of the crop of compositions that became nothing short of milestones for both Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf… not counting all the English kids whose high-profile covers finally helped to earn him some green in his late 60s. He even received songwriting credits (for “You Shook Me” & “I Can’t Quit You Baby”) on Led Zeppelin’s debut LP without a fight. Though, to beat a dead horse, he still had to sue the band for pilfering parts of “You Need Love” and “Bring It On Home.” While Dixon may not have the recognizable vocal chops of his contemporaries, this session is special for what it isn’t… some generic superstar gathering featuring reverent Brits paying homage to a blues king. Instead, these recordings feature hand-picked Chicago vets, including Sunnyland Slim (piano), Johnny Shines (guitar), Clifton James (drums) and Walter Horton (harp), making this album real even after all the kids had turned the blues into something decidedly commercial. The better known versions of these songs have been previously etched in our minds, of course, so Willie can’t compete with the legendary covers, but this Lp is as classic as it is forgotten, except by the most dedicated of aficionados. This is a top-notch vinyl rip, while the 2008 CD is available new at the loss leader price of $3.99 at Amazon, HERE.
Back Door Man (6:12)
I Can’t Quit You Baby (6:45)
The Seventh Son (4:19)
I Ain’t Superstitious (4:08)
You Shook Me (4:19)
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (4:54)
Little Red Rooster (3:41)
The Same Thing (4:46)
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