If you are researching, or thinking about picking up and learning, the harmonica, then buy King Biscuit Time.
The album is amazing, but the backstory here is too. Sonny Boy Williamson was, in fact, an escaped convict who worked his way up to becoming an international blues star using another man’s name:
John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, among others. Sonny Boy Williamson was truly, hiding whilst in the spotlight.
He was a blues harp player, songwriter and singer who had been playing in the Mississippi Delta since the late 1920s with the likes of Robert Johnson, Robert Lockwood Jr., Joe Willie Wilkins, Pinetop Perkins and Ike Turner. He was in fact, so popular in the Delta that he didn’t need to make recordings until 1950 when he signed with Mississippi’s Trumpet Records.
Yes, Sonny Boy Williamson was a complex man; he had many faces, names and hidden secrets. But, one thing is 100% for real; he could play the harp as good as any one of his contemporaries.
King Biscuit Time packs some serious blues harp playing from a man on top of his game. The album includes a radio broadcast from the King Biscuit Flower Hour and definitive versions of classic tracks “She Brought Life Back To The Dead”, “Cool Blues”, and “Eyesight To The Blind.” With Willie Love on piano and Elmore James on guitar for most tracks on the album, this represents some of the best Sonny Boy has to offer.
Check out Sonny Boy Williamson playing “Nine Below Zero” below: