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by Nic Jones
Such was the fallout from the blues boom of the 1960s that Sleepy John Estes and his compadre Hammie Nixon cut this album just prior to leaving for their first visit to Japan back in July of 1974. Both men might be said to have been in their dotage at the time, with Estes in particular being approximately seventy years old, and the music is shot through with what could be described as joyful intimations of mortality.
The paradoxically joyous ...read more
by John Barron
Tennessee blues legend Sleepy John Estes (1904-1977) spent the early part of his career recording sides for the Victor, Bluebird and Decca labels. In his later years, Estes was recorded in Chicago by Delmark Records. On 80 Highway, recorded in 1974, is a previously unreleased session from the Delmark vaults featuring Estes singing and playing guitar with his long-time collaborator Hammie Nixon singing and accompanying on harmonica.
There's an element of comfort heard in Estes' emotional vocalizing. His high-pitched inflections ...read more
by Nic Jones
Sleepy John Estes was one of the numerous country blues men who benefited from the upsurge of interest in the music in the 1960s, some decades after they were first caught on record. He was recorded at the time of the short-lived Memphis Blues Festival in June of 1969, and the results are part of Mississippi Delta Blues Jam In Memphis, Volume II (Arhoolie, 1993) The music on this reissue of the album originally called Electric Sleep was caught some ...read more