Junior Wells – IT’S MY LIFE BABY – Vanguard 73120


Junior Wells recorded this one in 1966 and it was his first release for the Vanguard label. The sounds of his voice and Buddy Guy’s guitar are all you need to know that it is authentic south side Chicago blues at its best. Most of the disc was recorded at Pepper’s lounge in order to achieve that realistic blues band sound with the appropriate crowd reactions. The rest was done at Universal Studios in Chicago and it fits in seemlessly with the live material. These two giants were at their peaks during this period…one of many actually. Quite a dynamic pairing of talents that turned in some of the best music to grace any stage or for that matter any turntable or CD player!
The CD version came out in `88 and still stays in my player quite often. This is some strong blues from the original blues brothers and an excellent example of why both men were to become the legends they soon became. Mixed and produced very well for a live club date, you can hear the songs almost as if you were at Pepper’s near the stage.

Backed by Freddy Below on drums and Leroy Stewart on bass, the studio cuts have Little Al on drums and the addition of Walter Beasley on rhythm guitar. I have had this on lp since the early `70s and hope to keep listening to it in whatever format comes around. This is a serious “must have”.

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