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Still in the present

Goin' Back in the Times
Goin' Back in the Times
By Homesick James

Earwig: 1994

This review first appeared in the September 9, 1994 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Homesick James, certainly in his late 80s and perhaps early 90s (he's given widely divergent birth dates to interviewers through the years, and no birth certificate has been found, so his exact age is a bit of a mystery), is certainly as old as the blues itself. While never a star like fellow second-generation bluesmen Sonny Boy Boy Williamson or Robert Johnson, he continues to be productive well into his later years (this was recorded just two years ago).

James gets a distinctive sound out of his old hollow-body guitar and metal slide. His playing is somewhat akin to Lightin' Hopkins in its sparse lines and modern sound. The music is straight-ahead, 12-bar blues – with strong singing and fresh vocals, James remains an American treasure.