Reviews of Furry Lewis with Lee Baker, Jr. Take Your Time

Eric Steiner's Cosmik Blues

Furry Lewis' Take Your Time features fine country blues from a little-known slide player from the Mississippi Delta. Take Your Time was recorded in 1969 with Memphis guitarist Lee Baker. Furry Lewis initially recorded some songs on Vocalion in the 1930's but as the Depression spread throughout America, audiences preferred Busby Berkeley fantasy to the blues. Furry went on to work for the City of Memphis as a street sweeper, but renewed interest in the blues helped bring him back to the stage in the 1950s and 60s. Along the way, he was honored by the Smithsonian Institution and was part of the 1970s Memphis Blues Caravan that brought elderly bluesmen to colleges and music festivals. Furry died in 1981 from a heart attack, but I think he'd like to be remembered for some great country blues slide on Take Your Time, particularly on "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" and "John Henry." Adelphi's Blues Vault is a treasure trove with releases from Skip James, Bukka White, and R. L. Burnside. Watch for the next Blues Vault offering on Adelphi Records: Johnny Shines' One Half Mile From Hell, which will feature performances from 1969 to 1972. Shines, a contemporary of Muddy Waters', toured with the Chicago Blues All-Stars, a dream blues line-up that included Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Dixon and Clifton James.

And from his review for Midwest Beat magazine, Eric adds the following:

His picture on the cover art is priceless: Furry’s grinning, holding a can of Falstaff in one hand and a cigarette with his trademark metal slide in the other.

Original B&W photo by G.L. Moore, Memphis 1969. Colorized by Denise Tapp.

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