Music Reviews

Jimmy Lee Williams

Hoot Your Belly

Fat Possum

Fat Possum has struck gold (or is that blue?) with its George Mitchell Series. Drawing on forgotten works from some legendary bluesmen (previous releases include Fred McDowell and Furry Lewis), these records document a vital aspect of American blues music, not in any historical sense, but rather as living, breathing examples of the power and strength inherent in the form. Jimmy Lee Williams’s Hoot Your Belly is stylistically similar to the Delta blues of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightning Hopkins and Furry Lewis: one man, one guitar and a whole lotta soul. Nothing wrong with that. His renditions of “Step It Up and Go” and “Pretty Baby” are as good as you’ll ever hear, and Mitchell’s recording makes you feel as if you’re sitting at a wobbly table in a juke joint, nursing a beer and listening to the fellow from down the road earn some spending money. Ain’t much better than that.

Fat Possum:

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