|I blame it all on Jimmy Reed. If it wasn’t for his
music, my introduction to the blues may have been delayed for quite some
time. As a teenager, when I heard “The Best of Jimmy Reed” on VeeJay
Records, everything changed for me. I decided that I needed to know
everything there was to know about this kind of music. Some forty
years later, I’m still pursuing everything blues and I probably will be
until my last days.
In the course of my pursuit of the blues, I have been
very fortunate to have seen Jimmy Reed perform live along with many other of
the “Masters” like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Hound Dog Taylor, Otis Rush,
Junior Wells and many others. I was able to see all these bluesmen in
around Chicago in the late 60s where I worked in the steel mills during the
summer to pay my way through college.
I listen to all styles of blues, but if I had to choose one to be more
partial to, it would probably be the Post-War electric blues of the late 40s
and 50s. To me, these guys were true innovators. They were using
electric guitars and amplifiers for the first with no one before them to use
as examples. They were it. And blues is still played pretty much
the same way the pioneers of the 50s played it.