American People

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
James Yancey Jones, aka the Tail Dragger, Arkansas born and Chicago based, is pushing 60 but shows no sign of slowing down. A Howlin' Wolf devotee, he even apes the Wolf's deep, gruff voice on occasion. But he has a distinctive, oak-solid voice of his own, singing and shouting his way through these 11 numbers, seven of which he wrote. Guitarists Rockin' Johnny, Johnny B. Moore, and Jimmy Dawkins are on one cut, and harmonicists Billy Branch and Martin Lang, bassist Aron Burton, and drummers Baldhead Pete and Rob Lorenz help out on others, all in tune with the Dragger's feverish notions. Primarily a pleader asking forgiveness for mean mistreating, he has the ultimate ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
James Yancey Jones, aka the Tail Dragger, Arkansas born and Chicago based, is pushing 60 but shows no sign of slowing down. A Howlin' Wolf devotee, he even apes the Wolf's deep, gruff voice on occasion. But he has a distinctive, oak-solid voice of his own, singing and shouting his way through these 11 numbers, seven of which he wrote. Guitarists Rockin' Johnny, Johnny B. Moore, and Jimmy Dawkins are on one cut, and harmonicists Billy Branch and Martin Lang, bassist Aron Burton, and drummers Baldhead Pete and Rob Lorenz help out on others, all in tune with the Dragger's feverish notions. Primarily a pleader asking forgiveness for mean mistreating, he has the ultimate blues experience talking about love won and lost, wondering why, and stating his case. Songs about "Bertha" and "Betty" are sweeter, clearly about women he's known, "You Gotta Go" is a typical 12-bar blues, with tenor saxophonist Eddie Shaw's honking urging the woman out the door, and "Bought Me a New Home," another 12-bar, states "new house, new woman." At his most Wolf-ish, the Dragger's voice is lower pitched and more pronounced for the near-nine-minute endless vamp "My Woman Is Gone," with Branch's searing harmonica, and twin guitarists Moore and Rockin' Johnny, and the rhythm section signifying the ramblin' juggernaut sound that was the Wolf. "My Head Is Bald," with Dawkins, is king-snake patient and delicious. A "Killin' Floor"-type version of Wolf's "Ooh Baby" further examines the Dragger's hero worship of Wolf. There's also a fine take of Sonny Boy Williamson's quick stop-and-go "Don't Start Me to Talkin'," with Lang's fine harmonica exclamations. There's a deliberate Eddie Taylor evergreen "Bad Boy," and a nice cover of the Muddy Waters classic "Long Distance Call," where the Dragger comes a bit out of his Wolf shell. The title track is destined to be be a time capsule/historical novelty, the Dragger singing about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, taking the President's side, telling people to "forgive him, let him do his job." A pretty fine, pure blues recording from an underappreciated roots singer in the general scheme of things. Maybe he should cop more to the Wolf. We all could use it in these troubled days. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/1999
  • Label: Delmark
  • UPC: 038153072827
  • Catalog Number: 728
  • Sales rank: 388,013

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bought Me A New Home (4:13)
  2. 2 American People (5:03)
  3. 3 You Gotta Go (5:53)
  4. 4 My Woman Is Gone (8:43)
  5. 5 Bertha (5:00)
  6. 6 My Head Is Bald (5:49)
  7. 7 Don't Start Me Talkin' (4:26)
  8. 8 Bad Boy (4:30)
  9. 9 Ooh Baby (Hold Me) (4:46)
  10. 10 Long Distance Call (5:53)
  11. 11 Betty (4:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tail Dragger & His Chicago Blues Band Primary Artist, Vocals
Tail Dragger Indexed Contributor
Billy Branch Harmonica
Jimmy Dawkins Guitar
Aron Burton Bass
Karl Meyer Bass
Johnny B. Moore Guitar
Baldhead Pete Drums
Rockin' Johnny Guitar
Martin Lang Harmonica
Technical Credits
Robert G. Koester Producer
John "Bugs" Parkinson Engineer
Steve Wagner Producer
Chester Burnett Composer
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