Chicago Blues

Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band – Delmark – Mid-Sixties

Junior-Wells-frontcover-1800Selection: Hoodoo Man Blues

.  .  .

Vinyl rip has a skip at the beginning, so a Youtube to reprise Wells “in person”. The audience is interesting.


Buddy Guy (originally billed as Friendly Chap) – guitar, vocals; Jack Myers – bass; Bill Warren – drums; Junior Wells – harmonica, vocals; recorded September 22–23, 1965

I’ve always had a soft spot for Chicago Blues, and the title track lyric captivated me – “somebody done hoodoo’d the hoodoo man” and its mysterious cultural significance.

Who or what is The Hoodoo Man? Thanks to the Internet, I got a transcript of the lyrics:

Lord, I wonder, what’s exactly the matter
Uh, child you know the time
It seemed like uh, hours
Everything had changed
But I hold up my head
Lord, I’m trying to make you understand
Lord, you know uh, everybody they tell me
Somebody done hoodoo’d the hoodoo man
Now you know I, I buzzed your bell this morning baby
You had your, elevator running slow
I buzzed your bell little girl
Take me up on the, uh third floor
But, I hold up my head
Lord, I’m trying to make you understand
Lord you know uh, there are tales, that baby
That somebody hoodoo’d the hoodoo man

*Harmonica Playing*

I say uhm, oh
I tell you this time baby and I ain’t gonna
Tell you know no more
That next time I tell you I might have to
Uh, let you go
But I hold up my head
Lord i’m trying to make her understand
Lord you know everybody they tell me
Somebody done hoodoo’d the hoodoo man

No, I’m still none the wiser, but I get something watching more than the plain written  lyric, he laughs “ha” for emphasis opening the hoodoo’d line, like hoodoo is a private joke.


Junior-Wells-rearcover-1800Collectors Corner

Purchased as an import from Dobell’s Folk and Jazz, Charing Cross Road, London, somewhere in the mid to late Sixties, as an import ipossibly a new release at the time, I don’t know much about original blues editions.

I visited Chicago for three days in the mid 80’s. foolishly walked around the Loop district in search of authentic blues bands, niaive in retrospect, at night, in the “wrong” neighbourhood. Approching midnight, a Chicago cab driver pulled over, ordered me to  get in, Tonight I’m gonna save your life. I said I hade spent all my dollars, my last night in the city. Perhaps taken with my British accent, he said No matter, have this one on the City of Chicago and drove me back to the Gold Coast.

Buddy Guy I saw at a French jazz festival about five years ago, a bit safer, all those years later Buddy still had his chops, a real crowd-pleaser.


1 thought on “Chicago Blues

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s