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Snooky Pryor: Mind Your Own Business

On the gritty side of the street are new releases by Snooky Pryor and The Jellyroll Kings. On Mind Your Own Business (Antone’s 74708; 60:12) harmonica ace Pryor-one of the first to amplify his instrument-is joined by the great Austin guitarist-producer Derek O’Brien, pianist Gene Taylor and ex-Hound Dog Taylor drummer Ted Harvey. Snooky’s sons Richard and Earl are also on board for his third Antone’s outing. A product of the Mississippi Delta, where he came under the spell of pioneer Rice Miller (a.k.a. Sonny Boy Williamson #2), Snooky began making his mark on the Chicago scene in the mid-’40s with his amplified harmonica. “They want to say Little Walter amplified the harp but that’s a lie,” he maintains. “When I did that, Little Walter was still in Louisiana shooting marbles!” Regardless of who came first, Snooky is still here to tell the tale and is sounding quite feisty and vibrant for a man of 75 years. He roars on raucous, driving shuffles like “Come On Down To My House” and “Goin’ Back To Arkansas,” tears it up on “Shake Your Boogie” and the title cut and wails on slower numbers like “Motty And Me.” O’Brien’s tough guitar work and Taylor’s pumping barrelhouse piano enhance each track.

Originally Published