Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Even decades after the golden era of Chicago blues - when Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf roamed the streets - a lot of great artists kept working throughout the city during the '70s and '80s. One guitarist, Jimmy Dawkins, took it upon himself to document (and sell) these musicians through his own label, Leric. Despite favorable attention in the blues press, Dawkins' entrepreneurial spirit didn't result in financial gain, but this new collection of Leric recordings proves that his ears were in the right place. Some tracks are strong continuations of the classic blues lineage, like Vance Kelly's "Use What You Got" from 1987. But the collection also represents Chicago's ongoing diversity and touches on soul (Nora Jean's "Oh My Love" from 1982), and Sister Margo And Healing Center Choir's two gospel performances call out to a higher audience." -DownBeat
Mojo (Publisher) (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir music is a powerful testimony to the city's ability to produce fine music even in unpropitious times."
Liner Note Author: David Whiteis.
Photographer: James Fraher.
During the 1980s, vaunted blues guitarist Jimmy Dawkins tried his hand at owning a record company, producing these tracks for his Leric label. The material here, finally compiled and released in 2010, collects music from lesser-known musicians like Vince Evans, Sister Margo, and Big Mojo Elem, and artists who became major figures on the Chicago blues circuit. The gems of this compilation include four dynamite, funky tracks from Little Johnny Christian, two from Howlin' Wolf devotee the Tail Dragger, early works by bassist/vocalist Queen Sylvia Embry, and another pair by Nora Jean Bruso -- the latter went on to become the biggest star of this set. Dawkins helps out occasionally as a sideman, along with harmonicist Eddie Burks and pianist Lafayette Leake. The Leric Story -- though incomplete -- gives listeners yet another example of the deep wellspring of authentic urban Chi-town blues being played and recorded well after those halcyon days of the `50s. ~ Michael G. Nastos