Willie Murphy: Hustlin’ Man Blues

Willie Murphy is another idiosyncratic, gruff-voiced white blues singer. Backed by a fairly pedestrian Twin Cities-based band, The Angel-Headed Hipsters, Murphy growls his way through classic blues material and a few originals on Hustlin’ Man Blues (Atomic Theory ATM 1137; 50:01), alternately emulating Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Winter and Dr. John. Highlights include a mean version of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” and his own jivey shuffle “What Daddy Wants (Momma Needs).”

His version of John Lee Hooker’s “My Own Fault” is a bit overwrought and there are unfortunate bits of blues affectation throughout. On the white-soul-ometer, Murphy is closer to Bob Seeger than Eddie Hinton.