Mighty Joe Young
Live From The North Side Of Chicago
Wow! A genuine blues man from Milwaukee! Well, Mr. Young was more of a mid-level prize fighter in the Beer City, but like all good Midwesterners he had to move to the big city for success. Mr. Young ended up in Chicago, a REAL blues city. He released a few albums, played on more than a few more, and while he was good he’s not a name you think of when searching for blues singers. That’s a shame, this album puts him live on stage and my first thought was “This guy’s sounds like what the Blues Brothers were aiming for.” The audio rocks, the crowd is up on its feet, and these eight tracks are sharp and moving. And while they feature Young’s electric guitar, the backing bands all get their moment to shine.
Opening track is “Cruisin’ Down Highway 99.” It’s a rocking instrumental with a driving rhythm bass, a hot guitar and sense we are all getting up and going somewhere cool. That would be the “Wise Fool’s Pub,” a small but critical element of the Chicago Blues scene. Young downshifts for the next track “That’s Alright,” a smoky tune with occasional commentary from the band leader as we wait for the vocals to come back around. “Stormy Monday” slows things down even more, this is the capitalist blues song about working for a living and taking what pleasure you can with the preacher and the boss man are off your back. There are just eight tracks here, all classics except for the closer “Wise Fool Express” which isn’t bad at all as jams go. Blues these may be, but they aren’t the kind that bring you down.