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Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson: Live at the Rynborn

The audience in Antrim, New Hampshire sounds primed for the blues on Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson’s Live at the Rynborn (M.C. Records MC0037; 48:24), the Chicago bluesman’s first-ever live recording. Too bad he didn’t deliver a more dynamic show. Backed by The Magic Rockers, an adequate if unsensational backing band, Johnson walks through blues nuggets by Willie Dixon, Jimmy Reed, Albert King, Guitar Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson with by-the-book ennui. While the singer-guitarist long ago staked his claim on the blues world (he put in several years with Chicago heavyweights like Magic Sam and Muddy Waters), this live outing ultimately falls flat.

Originally Published