Chick Willis CD Review
Chicago Blues like it ought to be played.
I’ve had a soft spot for ‘The Blues;’ especially electric Blues of the Chicago and Texas varieties since my teenage years and every now and again; I get the need to overdose for a couple of days – BB King, Cream, Taj Mahal, Rory Gallagher et al; you name it I’ll play it and added to that ever expanding list will be Chick Willis.
No Spring-Chicken, Willis has been playing the Blues since the mid 1950’s when he toured with Cousin ‘Chuck’ Willis of CC Rider fame; and recording since 1972, so he knows his way around a tune and a guitar.
He also toured with Elmore James in the 1960’s but LET THE BLUES SPEAK FOR ITSELF owes more to BB and Albert King in style although there’s also a big smattering of Southern Soul in a lot of the smouldering lyrics.
As you would expect a few of the songs are ‘generic Blues’ but the ones that aren’t, are as good as I’ve heard in years.
Short Haired Woman, Since I Fell For You and Don’t Know What You Got could all be locked in a time capsule and used as samples of what make the Blues so great and the underlying sexual tension in all three brought me out in goosebumps.
But Willis also has a really naughty sense of humour which comes out on Crush on My Next Door Neighbour on which he tells us about spying on the sexy woman next door who ‘accidentally’ lets him see her undress through a bedroom window……and the punch line had me giggling like a schoolboy!
Willis’s guitar playing is superb throughout and the added Hammond organ, harmonica and piano all stand up against any or all of the Blues Greats.