Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmie Vaughan On The Jimmy Reed Highway

In the ’50s, no bluesman was more influential than Jimmy Reed to a generation of young white rock’n’rollers who would attempt to perform the music of their hero. His patented shuffle guitar rhythm and simple but effective harmonica playing with laconic vocals turned Reed’s Vee-Jay recordings into much loved standards. Unfortunately, Reed’s personal and related health issues led to bad times. By the time of his death in 1976, he was a forgotten man. Veterans Dykes and Vaughan (ex-Fabulous Thunderbirds) aim to correct this oversight and make sure Reed’s unique oeuvre survives to inspire future generations. Not a hard thing to do considering how many timeless songs Reed wrote: "Big Boss Man,” "Bright Lights, Big City,” "Baby What You Want Me To Do,” they’re all here. Vaughan’s distinctive, economical guitar playing, combined with second guitarist Derek O’Brien (who produced), nicely invokes Reed’s recording formula. While Dykes’s singing style is typically a gruff shout, he tones it down and delivers the most easygoing recording of his career. Guest vocalists Lou Ann Barton and Delbert McClinton, who channels Reed’s style perfectly on "Hush Hush,” add variety. Get this CD, then buy Reed’s newly reissued Vee-Jay set from Shout Factory! (Ruf)