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George Butler: Lickin’ Gravy

Blues veteran and Alabama native George “Wild Child” Butler dredges up some hypnotic swampy blues and gritty Chicago grooves on Lickin’ Gravy (M.C. Records 0036; 46:41). With a big baritone voice and a juke joint harmonica style reminiscent of Sonny Boy Williamson or Big Walter Horton, Butler delivers with down-home feeling on these recordings, made available on CD for the first time by the Long Island-based M.C. Records. A majority of the tracks were cut back in 1976 with drummer Sam Lay, bassist Aaron Burton and guitarists Joe Kelly, Wild Boar Moore and Joe Zaklan. Chicago blues legends Jimmy Rogers and Pinetop Perkins appear as special guests on three tracks recorded in 1986, including the rousing instrumental shuffle “Speed.” While Butler grooves well with both bands, the most dramatic track on this collection is his stark, unaccompanied “None of Nothing,” in which he testifies with extraordinary power on vocals while answering back on Delta-flavored harmonica. A raw

gem unearthed for the enjoyment of blues connoisseurs.

Originally Published