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Jimmy Dawkins At The Blind Pig

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Jimmy Dawkins
at The Blind Pig

It was nice to hear "Fast Finger" Dawins live. His two Delmark lps sound good and point to a promising future for him as he continues to grow. But I'd never caught his live act. When it gets going, it's a powerful show.
Jimmy played the Blind Pig last Friday and Saturday nights, April 26, 27. He drove from Chicago with his band and it took a few sets Friday night for the road shock to settle out. But no matter what, Dawkins always plays the guitar well.
He plays sparse, straight ahead lines that build chorus afterchorus. Some of his quick licks are just amazing. He can - tickle those triple trebles as fast as, and with plenty of taste.
Saturday night was a much more relaxed, swinging session, and the whole band worked out. The bass player was into a modern, funky sound but never once lost his solid blues pulse. He and the drummer's great back beat cooked hard all night, providing both Dawkins and second guitarist James Johnsom with plenty of of steam.
Johnson sang a few tunes and laid down some very tastefully electric guitar work. I'll bet he listens to Curtis Mayfield as much as Muddy Waters, and the combination is pleasing. Someone sat in on sax, too, and we were treated to some real rough and rowdy Chicago blues blues ala 1974.
The only disappointment was Dawkin's reticence at the microphone. I get the feeling he doesn't think he's a very good singer, as he hardly ever did more than one vocal in a row. The sets are mostly instrumentals, but they sure don't have to be. When Dawkins sings, he's great... it's relaxed, almost jazzy style that compliments his band nicely. But I guess he doesn't think so. Well, next time they come here, go see them. I hope they stay longer and sing more.

--Jim Dulzo