Sunday, February 05, 2012

Johnny Rawl's Time To Win

The English JSP label continues to issue a number of important albums by under recorded artists and has discovered many others. At the same time it has repackaged some of its earlier albums that had gone out of print. Among its latest albums is a new Johnny Rawls release, My Turn to Win.

Having worked with his idol O.V. Wright, Rawls became known to blues fans from an excellent soul-blues album he did with LC Luckett for Rooster Blues. More recently, he has found a home at JSP for whom he also has produced albums by Lonnie Shields, Chris Beard and Deitra Farr. My Turn to Win provides more of his unique blend of Memphis soul (in the vein of the classic Hi Records sound) mixed with some Chicago shuffles.

There is a relaxed quality about both his vocals and his guitar playing that gives his music an appealing, understated quality whether singing about how glad he is about his woman on I Been Lookin'. It does not hurt that he writes good lyrics about people and relationships as opposed to “my baby mistreated me” type of songs. Nicely recorded and crisply played, it is another solid addition to Rawls' discography.

This review was written in 1999, most likely for the DC Blues Society’s newsletter which I edited at the time. I may have received review copies from JSP. JSP reissues its back catalog from time to time (and this was reissued in 2005). This is available as a digital download and used copies may be relatively easy to find. Amazon has this available as a cd-r and as a digital download. 

Here is a video of recent Johnny Rawls in performance.

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