Release Info: LITTLE JOE BLUE - SOUTHERN COUNTRY BOY (JEWEL 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 8 bonus
Little Joe Blue, born Joseph Valery, Jr., was a relatively late starter as a blues artist. Born in Mississippi in 1934, his musical sensibilities were heavily influenced by the work of Louis Jordan, Joe Liggins, and B.B. King, which he encountered from his teens into his 20s. He didn't turn to music as a profession until the late '50s, when he was well into his 20s, forming his band the Midnighters in Detroit at the end of the decade. By the early '60s, Valery had moved to Reno, Nevada, where he began recording as an adjunct to his performances in local clubs, before moving on to Los Angeles. He recorded for various labels, including Kent and Chess's Checker Records division during the early to mid-'60s, and never entirely escaped the criticism that he was a B.B. King imitator, which dogged him right into the '80s. The style that King popularized also happened to suit Valery, however, and he gained some credibility in 1966 when he racked up a modest hit in 1966 with the song "Dirty Work Is Going On," which has since become a blues standard. He had extended stints with Jewel Records and Chess from the late '60s into the early '70s, and recorded until the end of the 1980s. Valery performed throughout the south, and later Texas and California, during that decade, and later toured Europe, including performances as part of the International Jazz Fest during the 1980s.
Gritty electric work from Little Joe Blue -- a early 70s session for the Jewel label, cut with a really down-home feel! Most numbers here feature Little Joe updating an older mode with an electric twist -- but some other cuts pick up the pace a bit, and almost sound a bit funky -- thanks to some fuller southern soul backings! These are naturally our favorites -- and the cuts "Southern Country Boy" and "Right There Where You Left It" have more than enough beats to please any digger of funky 45s -- but the other tracks are pretty great too, and include "Encourage My Baby", "Gonna Walk On", "Only A Fool", "Just Love Won't Do", and "Sometime Tomorrow". CD features 8 bonus tracks too -- some recorded with Maxwell Davis on piano and Lowell Fulsom on guitar, and some a bit funky too. Bonus tracks include "Standing On The Threshold", "My Heart Beats Like A Drum", "Don't Tell Me Nothing About My Baby", "Your Hands May Be Tied", "A Fool Is What You Wanted", and "Shakin Hands With The Judge"...Rapid Link