Jimmy Reed wrote a lot of songs that are so on the money that it seems like they have been around forever. They’re simple and straightforward and chug along, while he drawls out the vocals and whines on harmonica. They’re blues that are the essence of blues. You can’t miss him.
Bright Lights, Big City
Shame, Shame, Shame
He’s so relaxed; it’s sometimes hard to understand him. His attitude is a lack of attitude. He’s in the big city, his baby left him, he’s going to get drunk, he’s asking deep questions, he’s in trouble, he loves his woman, he’s hurting, he’s sad, and he’s overjoyed. He’s funny. He’s great radio. He’s out of control, but in the pocket. His Vee Jay records are wonderful, every side. His songs are so simple that anyone can play them and has. And, will.
Honest I Do
Baby, What You Want Me To Do
In the beginning, he practiced in the alley. He had personal problems. He drank a bit, as he would say, which allowed his epilepsy to go uncovered for too long. He had 18 Top 20 hits between 1955-1961. He influenced everyone from other blues guys to the Stones, Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Wonder, and Bob Dylan. He’s gone, but he’s always there. Once heard, never forgotten.
Going To New York