Jimmy Johnson – Every Day of your Life
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Delmark Records
Release: 2020

Tekst: Iain Patience

Jimmy Johnson is a true blues veteran, a survivor who still works the boards of Chicago where he is a widely acknowledged and admired bluesman. Now ninety years old, ‘Every Day of Your Life’ is a truly remarkable release that highlights this guy’s sheer class and evident enthusiastic passion for the music he has been playing for over fifty years.

Johnson never fails to interest or engage his audience and this absolute stage mastery and legacy shimmers throughout this album, delivering an excellent  nine-track disc that shows Johnson can still produce the blues goods with absolute ease. Surprisingly, perhaps, given his age, Johnson’s fretwork remains powerful and gripping throughout, never wavering or slipping at any time.  The tracks covered include five originals from Johnson himself together with some Bobby Blue Bland and Fenton Robinson. Johnson also turns his hands to some piano on Blue Bland’s ‘Lead Me On,’ and the album has hints of funky R&B and gospel deeply embedded in the mix.

His first album in around a decade, Johnson is once again recording with Delmark, a label he first worked with forty years ago, while a relative youngster in the Chicago blues scene. Joined by many Chicago blues session and sidemen here, Johnson never puts a foot wrong, even unexpectedly pumping out a near-Reggae beat with one self-penned track, The Ring.’

On the evidence here, Johnson is still at the top of the game and this is a truly excellent release that will no doubt appeal to any lover of Buddy Guy, another Chicago blues great who has traditionally gained greater success, popularity and attention from the blues world, despite in truth being  no better or worthy of it than Jimmy Johnson. It’s time Johnson reached a wider audience and this album might just – albeit belatedly – bring his genius to the fore.

Tracks:
01. Every Day Of Your Life
02. I Need You So Bad
03. My Ring
04. Rattlesnake
05. Somebody Loan Me A Dime
06. Down In The Valley
07. Strange Things Happening
08. Better When It’s Wet
09. Lead Me On

Website: Delmark Records