Louisiana Red and Little Victor's Juke Joint: Memphis Mojo (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  1 min read

Louisiana Red: I'm Gettin' Tired
Louisiana Red and Little Victor's Juke Joint: Memphis Mojo (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Almost an octogenerian, Louisiana Red (aka Iverson Minter) has understandably become a fixture on blues circuits. Born in Alabama and his father lynched by the Klan, he once recorded for Chess in 1949 before doing military service, and after that just kept playing the blues.

It wasn't until more recent times however that he became better known, but you'd have to say that might be for his longevity and backstory rather than for what he actually does.

He's a survivor and has earned the right to tell his stories, and he also has terrific help with the presence of players like guitarist/producer Little Victor and the roadhouse rhythm section(s) on this collection of a dozen seemingly workmanlike electric blues cuts.

But a closer hearing lets you recognise just how far back into the blues this throws itself. We might be the 21st century but some of what is here -- especially in the consciously ragged recording by L.Victor and L.Red's references to pickin' cotton in the standout I'm Gettin' Tired boogie -- does sound like it came from another, and perhaps just remembered, time.

And So Long So Long is beamed in from Memphis in about 1942, until L.Red starts to overtly reference Clarksdale when it actually wasn't necessary. Yep, we got it. Now we are being told we need to get it. 

In fact, L.Red is sometimes the least of it when that rhythm section kicks in and L.Victor gets off.

As noted about his earlier album Back to the Black Bayou, L.Red is never going to rewrite the book, but his rejigging of familar ideas is interesting and has always been part of the blues contract (he does an creditable See That My Grave is Kept Clean, the sole "cover" among the "originals") . . . but you do need to hear the exceptional Grandmother's Death right at the end.

That is truly, a Lo'have mercy moment.

Louisiana Red died in Germany on February 25, 2012, a fortnight after this review appeared.

Like the sound of this? The start your blues listening here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Blues articles index

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

BRUCE IGLAUER OF ALLIGATOR RECORDS: The bossman of the blues

On a per head of population basis, Bruce Iglauer – the founder of Alligator Records – has been the man who has let you hear the real minority stuff. As he said when we spoke in... > Read more

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Big Daddy Wilson: Love is the Key (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Singer Wilson from North Carolina is yet another of those US blues (and jazz) artists who found a more sympathetic and profitable environment in Europe and these days operates out of Germany... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

LIVERPOOL AND AUCKLAND (2009): A tale of two architectures

LIVERPOOL AND AUCKLAND (2009): A tale of two architectures

As the vessel pulls away from the pier, the soundtrack is predictable: the 1964 hit by Gerry and the Pacemakers Ferry Cross the Mersey, Gerry Marsden’s paean to this, his hometown of... > Read more