TBT- The Jimmy Dawkins Urban Masterpiece “Feel The Blues”
The irony of the nickname “Fast Fingers” was not lost on anyone. Chicago guitarist Jimmy Dawkins was not known for being fast and flashy. He was known for his emotive playing and his piercing tone. To say he was good would be an insult actually. His mastery of the instrument shown in his delivery and the honesty of his playing.
As there are many editions and releases of this album, we are looking at the 1985 release on the JPS label. The session was recorded at Soto Sound Studio in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. Personnel are Jimmy Dawkins – guitar and vocals, Professor Eddie Lusk – keyboards, Fred Barnes – bass, Michael Scott – drums, and Rick Kurch on guitar. J.T. Burks plays harp, and Nora Jean Wallace contributes additional vocals on several tracks.
The sound quality is excellent thanks to recording engineer Jerry Soto, and a great re-mix by Martin Atkinson and John Stedman. The performances are clear, vibrant, warm, and immediate.
While Curtis Mayfield is the acknowledged master of urban guitar, there are a number of great guitarists that were masters too, in their own right. On Feel the Blues, Dawkins leaves no doubt as to his ability, and his sincerity. He shows that he can be as soulful as Buster Benton on tracks like “So Good to Me,” and as swinging as Magic Sam on “We Got to Go.” “Highway Man” is an interesting track with its slow pace, honky-tonk style piano backing, and Texas roadhouse style guitar. Other winning tracks here include the slow and smooth “Last Days,” and the simmering “Have a Little Mercy.”
Get reacquainted and spend some time with the wonder and beauty of Jimmy Dawkins’ blues. Bring this old friend home for a listen.