Big Leon Brooks – Let’s Go To Town
The late Big Leon Brooks was one of the unsung harmonica greats of Chicago blues. It's sad and ironic that he passed away before he was able to enjoy the rave reviews he will no doubt receive for this album. In addition to playing soulful, wailing harp, Brooks proves here that he was a fine songwriter, bandleader, and vocalist as well. His shouting style cut through the gutsy backing of an all-star cast of blues players. Some might argue that Brooks was imitating Little Walter and others of greater renown, but there's no denying that he was a talent in his own right. - Goldmine
Big Leon Brooks' story is sad but typical of the blues. Brooks is backed by journeymen players Louis Myers, Eddie Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, and his drummer Odie Payne, Jr. ...this is a highly listenable set by one of the more obscure lights on the Chicago scene.
He left a good-rocking legacy. -CityPages
1. Let's Go to Town - 3:15 2. Tell Me Baby - 4:36 3. Hurry Up Joe - 3:28 4. You Hurt Me So - 4:14 5. Love Me Baby - 4:20 6. Sugar Mama - 4:11 7. Miss Mary Ann - 3:51 8. Young Girl - 3:40 9. Please Mr. Catfish - 4:11 10. Side Walk - 3:17 11. Cryin' Over You - 3:54 12. The Blues Today - 8:06 13. Chromatic Stomp - 2:22
Big Leon Brooks (vocals, harmonica) , Louis Myers (lead guitar) , Junior Pettis (guitar on 1,6) , Luther 'Guitar Juior' Johnson (guitar on 2) , Eddie Taylor (guitar on 2) , Pinetop Perkins (piano on 4,8,9) , Big Moose Walker (piano on 1,5) , Robet Stroger (bass) , Freddie Dixon (bass on 3) , Odie Payne, Jr. (drums)
1. AllMusic - Scott Yanow
There is such joy and power to the music heard on this CD that it is difficult to believe that Big Leon Brooks passed away before the record was released. This is a reissue of an LP from the B.O.B. label and it features Brooks at his best. One of the top blues harmonica players based in Chicago in the '50s, Brooks had drug problems and quit the music business altogether in 1957. Nineteen years later quite by accident he returned to playing blues and he was busy for a few years before heart problems caused him to scale back before his death. On Let's Go to Town his gruff vocals are effective and the backup musicians (which are usually guitarist Louis Myers, bassist Bob Stroger and drummer Odie Payne, Jr.) are perfect for this mixture of blues and jump tunes, and the set has plenty of variety in the blues idiom. This is a perfect last testament for Big Leon Brooks, a great if underrated bluesman.
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