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Shakey Jake – Mouth Harp Blues


People have always been attracted to what they do not have, and that is a truism that should certainly work in James Harris’s favor, known for professional purposes, as Shakey Jake. “The quality that Shakey Jake possesses, both in his blues singing and in his harmonica playing, in the one that goes by the various names of “untouched”, “primitive”, “child of nature”, and what have you. All of which is to say that it is amazing that a young man like Jake should have been brought up in a city of the size and sophistication of Chicago, been exposed to the things that he has been exposed to, and still emerge, without any conscious attempt on his part, sounding like the oldest and most basic of the blues singers. In an over sophisticated age, that is a very valuable quality to have.


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SKU: Prestige/Bluesville 1027 (45) [2] Categories: , , , , Tags: , ,


Shakey Jake – Mouth Harp Blues The late James Harris earned the moniker “Shakey Jake” due to his proficiency at dice, but he was equally adept at the blues game. The Arkansas-born, Chicago-based singer and harmonica blower traveled to Rudy Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio in November 1960 to record this, his second album for the Bluesville label. Jake brought along Jimmie Lee Robinson, the brilliant, fast-fingered guitarist best known for his work with Little Walter’s band. Also making tasty contributions to the session was Robert Banks, the New York R&B and gospel studio organist who, in this case, ably appointed himself as a two-fisted blues piano stylist. Among the 10 selections is the distinctively loping “Easy Baby,” a tune also associated with Jake’s nephew Magic Sam.
Guitarist Jimmie Lee Robinson, who died in 2002, was the soul of Acoustic Sounds’ own APO Records. He was the first to record at Blue Heaven Studios, having made three records (one still unreleased) in the converted church, and he was there several more times to perform. A Chicago native and lifelong resident, Robinson began playing guitar in the open-air market on Maxwell Street in 1942 with the likes of Big Bill Broonzy and Robert Nighthawk. He later teamed with Freddie King for a four-year partnership and went on to play guitar and bass with Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Eddie Taylor, Elmore James, Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Reed, Magic Sam and of course Shakey Jake.


1. Mouth Harp Blues
2. Love My Baby
3. Jake’s Cha Cha
4. Gimme A Smile
5. My Broken Heart
1. Angry Lover
2. Things Is Alright
3. Easy Baby
4. Things Are Different Baby
5. It Won’t Happen Again


Additional information

Weight 0.700 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm