nashville blues society
by Sheryl and Don Crow

Tim Woods has been a staple of the southwestern Pennsylvania blues scene, playing guitar for more than 25 years. Also, as a young man working in Macon, GA, as a club promoter, he booked and worked closely with a number of national acts, thus forging lifelong friendships with many of the biggest names in the blues. Those friendships are the listeners' reward as Tim joines forces with many of these titans to create "The Blues Sessions," for Earwig Records. It was recorded in Atlanta, Chicago, and Clarksdale, with well-known names in attendance throughout. The set consists of twelve choice covers that span the early days of the Delta masters up through the postwar, amplified era. Of particular note, and one that can be easily heard upon first listen, is Tim's unique playing style, where he plays and picks with his thumb, allowing him to play both lead and rhythm. He kicks things off with an acoustic offering of the traditional "Deep Ellum Blues," which also featuures Willie Smith's son, Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith, on drums. Pianist Aaron Moore and another Muddy alumnus, guitarist John Primer, spice up the Howlin' Wolf chestnut, "Do The Do." Big Jack Johnson joins Tim and adds a hill country touch to "Built For Comfort," and the classic tale of a man who lost his lover and admits himself to be "the causin' of it all," "Who's Been Talkin." Organ from Ike Stubblefield, violin from Joe Craven, and guitar from Bobby Lee Rodgers give a psychedelic feel to "It Don't Make Sense You Can't Make Peace," and the set-closing "World Come Tumblin' Down." And now, for our favorites. Big Jack and Tim once again trade red-hot licks on a "can you top this" instrumental entitled "Clarksdale Boogie." And, the venerable David "Honeyboy" Edwards takes lead vocal and guitar on "Bad Whiskey & Cocaine," then duets with Tim on one of his own songs that has not been recorded since 1942, "Wind Howlin' Blues." Earwig founder Michael Frank adds the perfect touch of harp to these cuts, adding to their authenticity from one of the last living links to the legendary Delta greats. For Tim Woods, this set was a labor of love, with a touch of inspiration, dedication, and a little luck mixed in to pull it all together. "The Blues Sessions" is a sweet ride from the South up to Chicago, from a brilliant guitarist! Until next time....Sheryl and Don Crow.