Willie "Big Eyes" Smith can justifiably be called a legend of the blues. A while back, the Bluesbunny had the pleasure of seeing him perform live in a big marquee at the seaside. The sea to the left of us and a whole pig a-roasting to the right of us. There we were, stuck in the middle with beer and the blues. Inspirational.
This album puts Willie together with some modern day blues heavyweights such as Kenny Wayne on guitar. It is a solid, enjoyable set as well with Willie handling vocal duties on 4 tracks ("Going Away Baby" stands out) in addition to providing a solid back beat to the whole set. John Mays' vocals provide a suitable counterpoint to the rhythmic maturity that is evident on every track with a particularly fine performance on "Hard Times". You can't really have a blues album without some syncopating piano and we get that with "Hold It Right There". The joint was jumpin' indeed after that one. Best one for the hardcore blues fans amongst us has to be "Don't Think I'm Crazy" - it sound like it just came fresh out of a fifties' time warp Chicago.
The blues done gone and got me again. This might be a standard blues set but it is played well by some of the best practitioners of the style. That's why the blues will never die and this album will make a worthy addition to your blues collection. Play on, that man!