As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Tuesday, December 10

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Transmission
« Chuck Berry to Play New Years Day in Chicago Class Actress Has Found the Perfect Role »

Album Wed Nov 10 2010

Live in Boston 1966: Junior Wells and the Aces

809.jpg

Buddy Guy may have achieved a greater fame (and has a certain eponymous South Loop club to boost his immortality), but Chicago music owes nearly as much to his frequent collaborator and friend Junior Wells. A harmonica player who learned from Little Walter's style and created something all his own, Junior released his landmark album Hoodoo Man Blues in 1965. Live in Boston 1966 finds Junior fresh on tour for that album minus one "Friendly Chap" (the alias Buddy had to adapt due to contractual conflicts with Chess Records), but is joined by the Aces - Louis and Dave Myers on guitar and bass, and Fred Below on drums.

Released at the end of September, Delmark's packaging of this concert captures a vibrant set of songs as well as the dialogue in between - while the band's electric forays and tight grooves are on display, so is the showmanship that Junior brought aside from the music. One dialogue segment lasts for about three minutes - Junior goes into stand-up comedian form, talking about how he has to be wary of the "snakes" that will try to flirt with your woman when you finally get her fattened up and healthy. With imitations, asides, and some comic drum and bass fills from the band, Junior shows he's a born entertainer.

But curios aside, the music here gets the spotlight. "The Man Downstairs" finds the gang performing a medley (they didn't have mash-ups in those days) of "Big Boss Man" and "One Way Out" (which casual listens might recognize from the Allman Brothers cover). Junior's classic "Messin' With the Kid" and solo-riffic "Junior's Whoop" hit with like a locomotive - heavy, bellowing smoke, and right on time. "Look On Yonder's Wall" gets Junior into such a frenzy that he starts leading the whole audience in a screaming call and response that even he realizes is too early a peak: "We're gonna have to slow that roll a little bit..."

The band and album find their climax in a seven-minute romp through "Got My Mojo Workin'" - Louis and Fred put sweat on their brows with a frantic electric guitar and snare drum start, but somehow by the time Junior enters three minutes in, you realize they were only flexing a bit before starting the real show. By the time the final two minutes arrive, the Myers brothers are strutting all over their Strats, Fred's adding more fills than you can shake two sticks at, and Junior's wailing it all out through his harp. Delmark has captured a great musician in his prime, and the music makes for a fine history lesson that'll also move your behind.

 
GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

Blogroll

  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
BackStage
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
ChicagoMusic.org
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
CHIRP
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
Daytrotter
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Do312
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
Gridface
The Hood Internet
Innerview
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pitchfork
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Songs:Illinois
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock

  Venues:

Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
B.L.U.E.S
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Constellation
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
FitzGerald's
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Martyrs'
Mayne Stage
Metro
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Rosa's
Schubas
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Smartbar
Subterranean
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Township
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Atavistic
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Hozac
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store

Events

Featured Series














 

Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.


About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
Transmission staff inbox: transmission@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15