Hubert Sumlin – I Know You (1998/2013)
DSD64 (.dsf) 1 bit/2,8 MHz | Time – 56:54 minutes | 2,24 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 56:54 minutes | 1,09 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Digital booklet
Genre: Blues | © APO Records
Hubert Sumlin was listed as #43 in the Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Sumlin is best known for his “wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions” as a member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band. On “I Know You”, the Chicago Blues legend, surrounded by old friends such a fellow Wolf bandmate Sam Lay on drums and the great Carey Bell on harmonica, Hubert felt free to create in an intimate setting that captured the spirit of the great Chess recordings from the ’50’s.
This is arguably the first musically indispensable album that Hubert Sumlin has done since Howlin’ Wolf died some 23 years ago. That isn’t to say that he hasn’t done some good albums before this, just that I Know You has a degree of urgency, coupled with remarkable ease, that makes it a real delight. The result is a record that compares very favorably with Wolf’s London Sessions record as a mix of old and new. Sumlin will never sound like Wolf as a singer, but he can’t help sounding like him in every other way, since it was Wolf’s guitar on practically every cut after 1954; but he does his best with a limited voice and a hot guitar to deliver some superb electric blues. Whether he’s acknowledging Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, or John Lee Hooker, or paying tribute to Wolf himself (“How Many More Years,” in a killer interpretation), Sumlin sounds like he’s having great fun grinding and crunching away on his instrument. He even turns in a surprisingly strong vocal and guitar performance on a familiar piece of subdued blues, “That’s Why I’m Gonna Leave You.” There is a little dross here – Sumlin doesn’t do all that well stepping into John Lee Hooker territory; but generally, I Know You is a record that should please any fan of the Wolf or Sumlin (or, for that matter, James or Reed), with two tracks, “I’m Not Your Clown” and “Smokestack” (based on guess which song), indispensable to fans of hot blues guitar. Playing with him are Sam Lay (drums) and Carrie Bell (harp), with Jimmy D. Lane on second guitar and David Krull at the piano and organ.
01 – I’m Coming Home
02 – Howlin’ For My Darling
03 – That’s Why I’m Gonna Leave You
04 – How Many More Years
05 – Don’t Judge A Book By The Cover
06 – I Got It Where I Want It
07 – I’m Not Your Clown
08 – ”Smokestack”
09 – I’ve Been Hurt
10 – Mind Is Rambling
11 – You My Best
12 – Good Bye
Produced by Joe Harley. Executive Producer: Chad Kassem.
Recorded by Michael C. Ross on October 12-13, 1997 at Chicago Recording Company, IL.
Mastered by Kevin Gray at AcousTech Mastering, Camarillo, CA.
Hubert Sumlin – vocals, guitar
Jimmy D. Lane – guitar
Freddie Crawford – bass
Sam Lay – drums
David Krull – piano, organ
Carey Bell – harmonica
This is a pure analog recording.
The tracks were recorded live direct to two track.
Recorded: Studer A 807. Tape: BASF 900@30 ips tape.