Wells sings with a salty edge and clarity that are convincing and engaging, and he maintains his good humor even when saddled with less than first-rate material. He provides winning renditions of Ray Charles' "The Train," Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" and Jimmy Reed's "Honest I Do," plus a good reworking of his own "Messin' With The Kid" and "Goin' Home." But the song that tears the house down is "Oh, Pretty Woman," featuring flashy, exciting guitar from Rico McFarland and Wells' swirling harmonica adding secondary fire. Indeed, Wells' harp playing's another bonus; it's focused and aggressive here. This is pretty good for a 1990s session.
This 52 disc Ultimate Collection features music from the Delta to the Big Cities. This special first edition also includes a historic puck harmonica. How blue can you get? You will find your favorites here and discover some hidden gems, as the 'ABC of the Blues' brings together the best of the best.
Last Time Around – Live At Legends is a fitting farewell to the late, great Junior Wells and his partnership, friendship and kinship with Buddy Guy that lasted decades. The album is a historic release in many ways. It reunites two blues legends who began their unique association in the 1950s. The album was recorded live in March 1993 at Buddy Guy's world-famous Chicago blues mecca Legends, and it's an acoustic document of many classic songs that made both Wells and Guy legends in their own right, such as "She's Alright" and "I've Been There," along with other classic blues standards such as "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Key to the Highway," all delivered with a looseness and power that define both Guy and Wells. It also marks the last time the two ever played together.
Buddy Guy coaxes the audience to go along with him and Junior Wells way down deep, and way back to the rawest roots of urban blues in a tribute to Muddy Waters. The tune begins with silence – the room is dead. And you suddenly realize that Guy is plucking out barely audible chordal accompaniment on his guitar, anticipating Wells’ murderously bittersweet harmonica bends and subtle lines. They slink along together as the rest of the band comes in to offer support. Wells’ voice emerges quietly, but right from the beginning it seems to traverse the full range of a blues voice, as if multiple bluesmen were all being channeled at once – we get soft and sweetly melancholy, gut-wrenching scoops, growls, shouts and all the rest you can imagine.