Jim Crawford





(Photo by Paul Martin)

Jim Crawford


Taken from BluesNights Review

A genial Mancunian now residing in Devon, Jim has been playing for about twenty-five years with the blues coming to the fore in the last ten.

Most singers/guitarists have a wide selection of standards/classics and own compositions. Jim was no exception starting off with a very competent and rolling version of "CC Rider", then Blind Blake's "Diddy Wah Diddy" a great ragtime/good time number. Keeping up the tempo was Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now", really superb with excellent rhythm. A slow blues "Trouble In Mind" featured wonderful slide playing.

During the evening Jim played a selection of his own tunes and these showed a talent for lyrical composition and style whether picking or rhythmic. Two of these were "Love My Sugarcane" and "Love You Till My Dying Day". A very lively version of Lightening Hopkins "Mojo Hand" and Leadbelly's "Little Children Blues" followed, with superb flowing picking. Next, he played one of Ben Andrews songs "Lazy Dog" and finished the set with a rendition of "Matchbox". A very lively set!

The second set started with Robert Johnson's "Stones In My Passway", very good thumping bass and a nice slide. This was an equally a varied performance including songs by Curtis Mayfield, Tampa Red, Jess Fuller, Skip James. His abilities on the guitar finger picking and slide, whether up tempo or slow gospel, and his humorous sing-along with the audience joining in, were all delivered with an assurance and ease built up over the years. He punctuated the numbers with anecdotes and a liberal dose of good humour.

One particular song that stood out for me was Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Going To Brownsville". This is the kind of blues that I especially like. The pounding bass lines and the whining slide that keeps up an infectious flowing rhythm was truly excellent; the peak of the evening. Not surprising then to find it as the opening track on his 'Bluesboy' CD.

Coming to the end one of his own compositions, very gentle and warm and for encores Mississippi John Hurt's "Pay Day", beautiful picking, and finally Louis Jordan's "Caledonia" a good driving R&B number to round the evening off. Excellent musicianship, a genuine warm personality.

If I have a criticism of this performance it would not be about the musicianship, which was superb, but that it seemed on the shortish-side by comparison with other BluesNights.

ReviewLewis A Harris - BluesNights Reviewer

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