Blues Art review of Lil' Son Jackson Volume 1
Singer and guitarist Melvin ‘Lil’ Son’ Jackson was born on 17th August 1916 just outside of Tyler, Texas, and his father taught him to play guitar before he moved to Dallas in the early 1930s. He worked as a mechanic, did odd jobs, and sang gospel music before going into the Army in 1944. On his return to Texas in 1946 he concentrated on his guitar playing, though the music has changed from that he had grown up with – R&B was popular, but although solo bluesmen were not as prolific on record as back in the twenties, the king-pin on the down-home Texas scene was undoubtedly one Sam ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins – and Lil’ Son is without doubt out of the same tradition and able to play in the rural style that impressed those buying the more famous man’s records.
The measure of how well Jackson did can be heard on the 23 titles on this CD, sides made for the small Gold Star label, and the larger Modern and Imperial companies, (all of whom also recorded Lightnin’ of course) mostly recorded in Houston though with five numbers recorded in Los Angeles. These are solo blues items, and Son impresses with his knowledge and store of the traditional Texas blues and his own compositions, his relaxed guitar playing, and his easy, confident vocals. Lightnin’ may have been the Number One – but Lil’ Son Jackson makes for a worthy number two.
Thanks to Blues Art and Norman Darwen for the review
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Lil' Son Jackson Volume 1 Rockin' and Rollin'