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Former Muddy Waters guitarist star in own right

Sloppy Drunk
Sloppy Drunk
By Jimmy Rogers

Evidence Music: 1993

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This review first appeared in the Summer 1994 edition of Blues Revue Quarterly magazine (now Blues Revue).

Recorded 20 years ago in France, this combination of live and studio cuts shows former Muddy Waters guitarist Jimmy Rogers at his peak.

In his middle years at the time, he hadn't yet lost any vocal range or fingering nimbleness to age. At the same time, his considerable skill as a guitarist had already been shaped by two decades of experience.

The music is basic Chitown boogie, the backing musicians also veterans (Willie Mabon, piano; Louis Myers, guitar; Fred Below, drums; Dave Myers, bass).

While Rogers is a longtime resident of Chicago, and the music here is basically Chicago electric blues, Rogers' vocals are heavily influenced by Texas T-Bone Walker. He sings in Walker's almost half-spoken style, which serves to emphasize the syncopation of the beat, and makes the music swing that much more.

The songs are all Rogers originals, the best known being "You're Sweet" and "Ludella." All are well-constructed tunes and give Rogers plenty of room for tasteful, thoughtful solos on his hollow-body guitar.

This is a solid recording, one of Rogers' best, and provides nearly a full hour of outstanding blues.