Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Kim Wilson That’s Life

Kim Wilson
That’s Life

Kim Wilson’s second Antone’s album showcases his considerable talent as a singer, harmonica player and songwriter. It is comprised of Wilson’s originals and some covers of tunes that haven’t been done to tedium.

Opening with a rocking jump blues, Baby Please Don’t Lie To Me, Wilson confidently delivers his vocal on a lyric suggestive of Percy Mayfield. In contrast Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You sounds like a cover of an unissued Sonny Boy Williamson Checker recording , although Wilson’s harp echoes Little Walter on his fine treatment of Jimmy Rogers’ Blues Leave Me Alone (with tasty harp fills and a solid solo from guitarist Rusty Zinn) and on the harp features, Humpin’ to Please, and Lowdown, both exhibiting his relaxed and fluid phrasing and full tone. Wilson salutes the second Sonny Boy Williamson on She’s My Baby, and his harp also echoes Williamson on a rocking rendition of Junior Parker’s Pretty Baby.

In addition to Zinn, Duke Robillard, Derek O’Brien and Clarence Holliman are also heard on guitar, and Gene Taylor adds piano. The only tune that perhaps comes off flat is Wilson’s straight reworking of Irma Thomas’ classic soul hit, Time is on My Side. Otherwise, Wilson’s songs, vocals and harp recapture the feeling of the classic blues from the fifties and sixties on a set that is much more than simply nostalgia.

I likely received a review copy of this from the label or a publicist. This review originally appeared in the November 1994 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 194). Here is Kim from a somewhat recent performance.

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