Fewer bands have ever rocked the blues harder than Little Sonny's on Black & Blue. Sonny rarely pauses, poring as much soul into his voice and harmonica as he is physically able, his band laying down funky, hard driving riffs, occasionally adding a little hand clapping to the mix. The intensity never wavers. Black & Blue represents thirty-seven minutes of raw, uptempo blues with few frills.
Born Aaron Willis, Little Sonny took his inspiration and his name from the legendary harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson, who Sonny met after moving North from Greensboro, Alabama. Until then Sonny had wanted to play baseball. "I knew," says Sonny, "no baseball scout was going to see me as far back in the woods as I was."
Originally released in 1971, Black & Blue enjoyed limited regional success, reaching #3 on Detroit's LP chart. Otherwise, the album quickly vanished into obscurity, dragging its relatively unknown artist behind.
Make no mistake, however, this re-issue is one of the finest crafted albums ever released by Stax records.