Eleven years is a long time between recordings. It's an even longer time between debut and sophomore albums. Harpist/vocalist Davenport has finally released his second album, and although it is hard to say that eleven years was worth the wait, this collection is excellent!
Though not as cohesive as his 1991 debut, When the Blues Hit You, Davenport has delivered a winner with I Smell A Rat. The obvious questions: Why hasn't he recorded more often? And how come it took eleven years to release new material? We may never know the answers, but we certainly know that it is a shame because Davenport is a true gem an under- utilized, under-recorded gem.
Davenport, who is mainly known for playing as a sideman to Bo Diddley and Big Daddy Kinsey, can stand up to any 1960's Chicago Blues Man. Helped by guitarist and producer Jimmy Dawkins; Detroit Junior on piano; Allen Batts, also on piano; Jimi Schutte on drums and Bob Stroger on bass, Davenport has crafted an album that could easily be confused with some of the later, rock- influenced Chess recordings. Highlights include: "My Mama Rocks Me," "So Wurrid," the instrumental "To Our Lost Ones 9/11/01," the album opener "Bad Treatment" and "Knocked on Every Door."
Track Listing: 1. Bad Treatment - 4:08
2. Knocked on Every Door - 5:23
3. You So Sexy - 5:22
4. West Side Blues Harp- 3:35
5. Miss Sallie Mae - 5:43
6. My Mama Rocks Me - 5:55
7. In My Bedroom - 4:09
8. So Long - 7:06
9. I Smell a Rat - 4:55
10. So Wurrid - 5:57
11. To Our Lost Ones 9/11/01 - 4:12
12. Stop Beggin' Me - 4:24
13. Goin' Away - 3:23
Personnel: Mad Dog Lester Davenport - Harmonica, vocals;
Jimmy Dawkins - Guitar;
Allen Batts - Piano;
Detroit Junior - Piano; Jimi Schutte - Drums;
Bob Stroger - Bass; Sho Komiya - Bass; Billy Flynn - Guitar
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.