Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson: Got to Find a Way

While Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson may not be the majestic singer that B.B. King is, his strength lies in his roughhouse ax work that comes directly out of Chicago’s aggressive West Side school. On Got to Find a Way (Telarc 83445; 53:36) with his Magic Rockers, Johnson (who was born in B.B.’s hometown of Itta Bena, Mississippi) sings and stings with authority on the slow “Luther’s Blues” and the razor-sharp title track. Less successful is the minor key ballad “Home Alone.” And his version of “I Pity the Fool” hardly rivals Bobby Bland’s classic. But when Luther sticks to the tried-and-true formula of Chicago blues, as on “You Ought to Be Ashamed,” “Talkin’ on the Phone” and “Just Like Mama Said,” he scores big.