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Mad Dog Lester Davenport: I Smell A Rat

Mike Perciaccante By

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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

Title: I Smell A Rat | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Delmark Records

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