James Wheeler - Ready! (1998)
EAC Rip | FLAC (image+.cue, log) ~ 391.08 Mb | 1:06:52 | Covers
Blues | Label: Delmark Records – DE-719
Chicago blues journeyman had played with both Otis Clay and Otis Rush for decades before finally recording this debut for Delmark in 1998. READY! is exceptionally well-produced by owner Robert Koester in the naturalistic Delmark style. The backing band is first-rate, especially pianist Ken Saydak and James's brother, harpist Golden "Big" Wheeler, who are both given ample solo space. Of course, the main attraction is the guitarist himself who is a great player in the classic Chicago blues tradition. While Wheeler's vocals rarely rise above the middling–neither Rush nor Clay have anything to worry about here!–his jazz-derived instrumental approach and light touch bear comparison with B.B. King's. Vocalist Gloria Thompson-Rodgers guests on the scathing "Cold Hearted Woman."