In This Mess Up To My Chest
Snooky Pryor was one of the earliest Chicago blues artists to record after World War II, first as part of Snooky and Moody, and later on his own for several labels including J.O.B. and Vee-Jay. Influenced in his harp playing by John Lee ‘Sonny Boy’ Williamson, he never had great commercial success with his initial recordings, although many are classic Chicago blues performances marked by a crying vocal style complemented by his crying harp playing. Antone’s has done a great job in recording him, and has presented several remakes She Tried to Ruin Me, and Judgment Day (from a live recording), along with nice versions of Sonny Boy’s Bluebird Blues, and new songs like Bury You in a Paper Sack, and Take It Easy Greasy. The late Luther Tucker adds his cutting accompaniment to several tracks and guitarist Derek O’Brien does a yeoman’s job elsewhere. Pinetop Perkins adds his typically solid piano on several tracks, and Ted Harvey, one of the last great blues drummers, adds to the music’s spirit. Another fine album of classic Chicago blues.
This review appeared in the July-August 1994 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 193) and I likely received a review copy from Antone's Records. This may be harder to fine on CD or LP but is available as a download.
Snooky passed away October 18, 2006 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Here is Snooky performing his classic Judgment Day, from a New York City appearance in 1991.