This album is a follow-up to Joe's 1996 record "Blues union" recorded with Ronnie Earl and his band, that record was very authentic and enjoyable, this one recorded with "Duke Robillard and friends" is even more so!
It's a similar mix of classic Muddy Waters-style Chicago blues like the opening track "The bitter seed"; more jazzy material like "Life without parole"; and Joe playing solo, a la John Lee Hooker, as on "Holding a loosing hand". Bruce Katz reappears from the previous album to add his keyboards and jazzy Hammond organ to the mix and harmonica master Jerry Portnoy plays wonderful harp on several tracks. As I've said before Joe hasn't got the world's best voice but I really like his soft, relaxed delivery that perfectly suits songs like "Give up and let me go" reminding you of Jimmy Reed and the Excello artists. Indeed while there is a real Chicago sound here Joe was born and raised in Mississippi and he also gives the music that lazy southern edge. Top marks to Duke Robilard and his band (Rod Carey and Per Hanson) who provide totally sympathetic backing throughout for this very authentic album, which while fronted by Joe is really a band record.