Blues blast magazine|
by Steve Jones
Tim Woods has 25 years of experience in the blues. A session in June 2005 with David “Honey Boy” Edwards, Homesick James, Sam Lay and Pinetop Perkins inspired Tim to the point of recording with these greats. “The Blues Sessions” was hence recorded over a six-month period in studios in Clarksdale, Atlanta and Chicago. Featured on the CD alphabetically are: Allen Batts, Joe Craven, David “Honey Boy” Edwards, Michael Frank, Shannon Hoover, Big Jack Johnson, Aaron Moore, Eric Noden, John Primer, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Jeff Sipe, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Ike Stubblefield, Bob Stroger, Lee Williams and Terry “Big T” Williams. Four Willie Dixon cuts, three Honey Boy Edwards tracks, and one each from Howlin’ Wolf, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Jack Johnson, himself and an un-authored traditional number comprise the dozen tracks presented here.
Woods opens with “Deep Ellum Blues”, a beautiful acoustic piece with Noden and Smith supporting him. Folks my age will recognize it as an old folk song covered by the Dead. The interplay of Woods and Noden is a great start to a disc full of Tim’s great work and the blues greats surrounding him.
Dixon’s songs like “Do the Do” get great covers here. Primer and Woods guitar work on the this is quite nice while Woods and Big Jack Johnson bend notes together on songs like “Built for Comfort”. Woods and Honey Boy sing and play together on “Bad Whiskey and Cocaine”, “Wind Howlin’ Blues” and “Drop Down Mama”, giving us traditional Delta blues done up like they used to be. The Dixon covers are updated a bit except “Spoonful” where he goes acoustic and traditional sounding; another well done effort with Noden and Smith showing less can be more.
This is a nice mix, and he finishes up with an uncredited but apparently original track with some cool organ work by Stubblefield and jumping rock-a-billy guitar work by he and Rogers. A dozen tracks of tight and well done studio tracks showcasing Woods’ two and a half decades of experience and his ability to blend and mix it up with some other talented folks who enjoy playing together and also do it quite well! His acoustic and electric guitar are equally well done and his vocals are all spot on and bluesy. If you like traditional blues from the Delta and Chicago, this album will warm both your heart and your ears quite well!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.