Monday, October 11, 2010

Big Joe Duskin Rides Again

Looking back on my hard drive I came across this review of an album by pianist Big Joe Duskin. Never having the pleasure to see Duskin, I have only been able to enjoy his recordings. I am sharing this 2004 review with you. To my knowledge this recording is still in print.  

Born in Alabama in 1921, Big Joe Duskin has resided in Cincinnati for a number of years. A formidable pianist who was influenced by the great Memphis Slim and Roosevelt Sykes, Duskin actually abstained from performing blues in public to honor a promise to his father, a preacher that he would not play in public until his father passed away (and his dad lived to 105). It was not until the 1970s that this veteran started playing again in earnest leading to albums for Arhoolie and the Austrian Wolf labels. Now, one of the last of the original Cincinnati blues artists, he has a new album, Big Joe Jumps Again!, on the Yellow Dog label produced Willie Lee Ellis, a conservatory singer who met Duskin in the 80s and among those who has championed his music. Bassist Ed Conley and Philip Paul both did numerous sessions for King records (Paul was on Freddie King’s classic Hide Away). Guests also appear on several tracks including rocker Peter Frampton who is heard on two selections including Every Day I Have the Blues. Frampton now lives in Cincinnati and met Duskin at a benefit after 9/11. With the sympathetic trip backing, Duskin delivers his piano blues shouting out his lyrics in a fashion that evokes the great Sykes. Songs include Sykes’ Miss Ida B. (also a staple of Pinetop Perkins repertoire), Lowell Fulson’s You’re Gonna Miss Me, Memphis Slim’s Every Day and Beer Drinking Woman, and the boogie woogie standard Down the Road a Piece. There is even a rendition of North to Alaska before the album closes with a short rendition of Just a Closer Walk With Thee. We may never know just how good Duskin was in his prime as he kept his promise to his father, but he is still in his eighties a solid blues pianist and vocalist who is among the last of his generation of blues pianists and we should be thankful for this splendid release.

After I posted this review, Yellow Dog Records added the comment that it is print and provided a link for you to hear the music. 
The link is in the comment they made, but I believe would be easier to have the link in the body of the review, so added it now.

For FTC purposes I likely received a review copy from Yellow Dog records or its publicity firm.

1 comment:

YDR said...

Still in print, and you can hear the music here:

-Yellow Dog Records