Various Artists

Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story

by David Maine

4 October 2010

 

A grab-bag of blues from a forgotten Chicago label

cover art

Various Artists

Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story

(Delmark)
US: 15 Jun 2010
UK: 20 Jul 2010

Leric Records was the brainchild of Jimmy Dawkins, a Chicago-based guitarist who started the label in the ‘80s in an attempt to capture the rootsy, electric-blues traditions of his home city. This compilation is a strong collection that argues convincingly that the label fulfilled its mission. The songs feature twanging guitars, swinging horn sections and the kind of energy that one would expect from a roadhouse on Saturday night.

There’s too much diversity to go into each track here, but the record contains a wide range, from the pulsing rhythm and smooth vocals of Little Johnny Christian’s “Luv Somebody”, to the mournful harmonica and gravel-in-the-blender vocals of Tail Dragger’s “My Head Is Bald”. Double entendres abound in “Use What You Got” by Vance Kelly, while Queen Sylvia’s “I Know I Ain’t Number One” offsets her tremulous alto against impossibly spiky, staccato guitar leads.

The record ends with a pair of gospel songs, “My God Is Real” and “Peace be Still,” courtesy of Sister Margo and the Healing Center Choir. They’re not exactly blues tunes, but they represent the label, and somehow manage to fit right in with the rest of the album.

Jimmy Dawkins Presents The Leric Story

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article