Big Jack Johnson – Daddy, When Is Mama Comin’ Home? – LP
A major blues talent, guitarist/vocalist Johnson delivers topical material with knock-out force and man-woman songs with hard poignancy. - American Visions Crawdad Hole, I'm A Big Boy Now, and the title cuts are all standouts. AIDS, racism, and poverty are all here and Big Jack's insightful and often humorous commentary are a welcome and somewhat overdue statement. - Music Independent
Besides Johnson's swaggering leads and rippling guitar, there's a torrid horn section of top Chicgo players. On two songs, Frank Frost takes a turn on synthesizer, adding a contemporary flavor. But no one should mistake this for a pop or rock session; it's hard-edged, undiluted Delta blues. - Memphis Commercial Appeal
A1. 1. Thirteen Chillum - 4:35 2. I'm A Big Boy Now - 3:25 3. Doodley Squat - 5:44 4. Crawdad Hole - 6:11 5. Chinese Blues - 5:16
B1. 1. Daddy, When Is Mama Comin Home? - 4:36 2. I Slapped My Wife In The Face - 4:46 3. Goin Back To Mississippi - 5:51 4. Mr. U.S. A.I.D.S. - 4:49 5. United States Got Us In A Bad Shape - 5:47
On all songs except B3,B4 : Jack Johnson (vocals, lead guitar,bass guitar) , John Primer (second guitar) Frank Frost (synthesize) , Sam Carr (drums) , Elmer Brown (trumpet) , Hank Ford (tenor saxophone) , Bill Mc Farland (trombone)
On B3,B4 : Jack Johnson (vocals, lead guitar) , Aron Burton (bass guitar) , Larry Burton (rhythm guitar) , WVince Willis (keyboard, piano) , Earl Howell (drums) , Elmer Brown (trumpet) , Hank Ford (tenor saxophone) , Bill Mc Farland (trombone)
1. AllMusic - Bill Dahl
The precise opposite of the Mississippi guitarist's previous Earwig release. This one's slick, horn-leavened, and full of downhome ruminations on everything from AIDS and spousal abuse to Chinese blues musicians. Too weird for some purists, but definitely engaging in its singular approach.
Artist Biography - Bill Dahl
Contemporary Mississippi blues didn't get any nastier than in Big Jack Johnson's capable hands. The ex-oil truck driver's axe cut like a rusty machete, his rough-hewn vocals a siren call to Delta passion. But he was a surprisingly versatile songwriter; Daddy, When Is Mama Comin' Home, his ambitious 1990 set for Earwig, found him tackling issues as varied as AIDS, wife abuse, and Chinese blues musicians in front of slick, horn-leavened arrangements.
Big Jack Johnson was a chip off the old block musically. His dad was a local musician playing both blues and country ditties at local functions; by the time he was 13 years old, Johnson was sitting in on guitar with his dad's band. At age 18, Johnson was following B.B. King's electrified lead. His big break came when he sat in with bluesmen Frank Frost and Sam Carr at the Savoy Theater in Clarksdale. The symmetry among the trio members was such that they were seldom apart for the next 15 years, recording for Philips International and Jewel with Frost, the bandleader.
Chicago blues aficionado Michael Frank was so mesmerized by the trio's intensity when he heard them playing in 1975 at Johnson's Mississippi bar, the Black Fox, that Frank Frost eventually formed Earwig just to capture their steamy repertoire. The resulting album, Rockin' the Juke Joint Down, came out in 1979 (as by the Jelly Roll Kings) and marked Johnson's first recordings as a singer. Johnson's subsequent 1987 album for Earwig, The Oil Man, still ranks as one of his most intense and moving, sporting a hair-raising rendition of "Catfish Blues."
The '90s were good to Johnson. In addition to Daddy, When Is Mama Comin' Home, he released a live record and two studio albums -- 1996's We Got to Stop This Killin' and 1998's All the Way Back. He also appeared in the acclaimed film documentary Deep Blues and on its resulting soundtrack, returning in 2000 with Roots Stew. The new millennium saw Johnson continuing as an active performer and recording artist, collaborating with Kim Wilson on 2002's The Memphis Barbecue Sessions and releasing Katrina, his "tribute to the land, people, and spirit of Mississippi," in 2009. Sadly, Big Jack Johnson was in ill health as the decade drew to a close and the 2010s began, and he died at age 70 in a Memphis hospital on March 14, 2011.
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