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Byther Smith: All Night Long

Chicago bluesman Byther Smith has a much less refined approach to the blues on All Night Long (Delmark DE-708; 62:05), his follow-up to last year’s Mississippi Kid. His vocal style is raw and limited in range but the passion comes through. His guitar playing is serviceable and not particularly distinctive. But the guy’s got a way with sly lyrics.

On the B.B. King-ish “I’m Your New Lover,” he sings…”Baby I’m your new lover, call me on the phone. But if you need any money, give B.B. King a ring…if you need shoes, baby, call on Buddy Guy.” He offers more clever and thoughtful words in this all-original program on tunes like “Live On This Man’s Name” (a total rip-off of “Everyday I Have The Blues”), “Something’s Wrong With This Picture,” “Daddy’s Gone” (a rip-off of “The Thrill Is Gone”) and the tongue-in-cheek country ditty “Is He White Or Is He Black?” Not too original or inspired. A couple of dashes of lyrical verve here and there, but not highly recommended at all.

Originally Published