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 was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.