J.B. Hutto & The Hawks
Hawk Squat with Sunnyland Slim
Delmark DE 617
The rough and rowdy blues heard at Turner’s Blue Lounge in the ‘60s has been captured in these explosive studio sessions. J.B. Hutto tears the joint up! 20 page booklet enclosed contains many never-before-seen photos from Turner’s and the recording sessions as well as the original and new notes by producer Bob Koester.
1) Speak My Mind 2:13
2) If You Change Your Mind 3:13
3) Too Much Pride 3:49
4) What Can You Get Outside That You Can't Get At Home 3:24
5) The Same Mistake Twice 3:27
6) 20% Alcohol 3:25
7) Hip Shakin' 2:21
8) The Feeling Is Gone 3:17
9) Notoriety Woman 3:54
10) Too Late 3:13
11) Send Her Home To Me 3:01
12) Hawk Squat 4:44
13) I'll Cry Tomorrow 3:03
14) Speak My Mind (alternate) 2:10
15) Too Much Pride (alternate) 3:44
16) Hawk Squat (alternate) 4:28
17) The Same Mistake Twice (alternate) 3:23
18) Speak My Mind (alternate 2) 3:18
Tracks 13 – 18 previously unissued
TT: 61 minutes
J.B. Hutto, vocals, guitar
Sunnyland Slim, piano, organ
Lee Jackson** or Herman Hassell*, guitar
Junior Pettis** or Dave Myers***, bass
Frank Kirkland, drums
Maurice McIntyre***, tenor saxophone
*Track 7 December 17, 1966
**Tracks 1,4,6,8,10,13,14,18 August 14, 1968
***remainder May 15, 1968
All compositions by J.B. Hutto, Foggy Day Music/Slideslinger Publ., BMI
Album Production and Supervision: Robert G. Koester
CD Production and Audio: Steve Wagner
Recorded by Leon Kelert (Mother Blues), Ron Pickup (Sound Studio), Malcolm Chisholm (Ter-Mar Studio)
Photography: Greg Roberts (Turners), John Mayer (Mother Blues), Diane Allmen (Sound Studio), John Wilkinson (Ter-Mar Studio)
Photo Scans: Paul Natkin
Original LP Cover Design: Zbigniew Jastrzebski
Deluxe Edition Design: Kate Moss, Moonshine Design
Special thanks to Greg Johnson and the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi for providing scans of Diane Allmen’s photos.
Other Delmark albums of interest:
J.B. Hutto, Slidewinder (636) Stompin’ At Mother Blues (778)
Sunnyland Slim, House Rent Party (655) Smile On My Face (735) with Lee Jackson
Little Walter, The Blues World Of… (648) with Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim
Blues Piano Orgy (626) with Sunnyland Slim, Little Brother Montgomery…
Junior Wells, Hoodoo Man Blues, Deluxe Edition (DE 612) with Buddy Guy
Southside Blues Jam, Deluxe Edition (DE 628) with Buddy Guy, Otis Spann
Magic Sam, West Side Soul, Deluxe Edition (615)
Live at the Avant Garde 1968 (833)
Carey Bell, Blues Harp (622) with Jimmy Dawkins
Jimmy Dawkins, Fast Fingers (623)
CP 2015 Delmark Records
Hawk Squat was born at Turner’s Lounge at 39th and Indiana on Chicago’s south side. Fifty-cents would gain you entry and a beer. Not having that dollar charge at the door Turner’s was rowdier than other clubs. There were two incidents. One was a fight that started between Turner and one of the customers. Turner couldn’t reach his pistol in his back pocket and several people told me I tried to restrain the guy Turner was fighting. J.B. came off the stage and said “I ain’t gonna record for anybody as crazy as that!” The second incident involved a guy entering the club and going straight to the Ladies’ room. He got kicked out. Then he went into the Men’s room. Then he got kicked out. Then he started hitting people in the club. I remember he hit one guy in the back of the head that was six-feet tall, dressed to the nines, which was a little unusual for Turner’s. The patron and his girl left. He came back and shot the guy over a corner of our table.
I first saw J.B. there around the time we moved the Jazz record Mart to 7 W. Grand so it must have been ‘62 or ‘63. Leon Kelert did Delmark’s first recording of J.B. in 1966 at Mother Blues (on a Saturday afternoon during off hours), a club in Chicago’s Old Town. This was only the second Delmark modern blues recording, the first being Junior Wells’ Hoodoo Man Blues recorded the year prior. Hawk Squat was inducted into The Blues Foundation‘s Hall of Fame last year joining Delmark’s Hoodoo Man Blues and Magic Sam’s 1967 album West Side Soul.
Kelert said of his recording - “the voice was not well recorded, it was distorted” so with the exception of the song “Hip Shakin’” the tapes were shelved. I think he just didn’t understand J.B.’s way of singing. Eventually the remainder of the 1966 session was issued in 2004 as Stompin’ At Mother Blues. While the beginning of Hawk Squat’s recording started in ‘66 it wasn’t completed until ‘68 when all but one of the album’s songs were recorded at two studio sessions, one at Sound Studio the second at Ter-Mar.
Hawk Squat also employed the idea of adding a jazz musician to a blues date. Maurice McIntyre, who passed away in November, 2013 worked at my Jazz Record Mart. It was just an idea of the moment, sort of like Otis Spann showing up for Junior Wells’ Southside Blues Jam album. It was very last minute.
The thing I remember most about J.B. was that he lived in Harvey and took public transportation to and from Turner’s Lounge. And he got $ 5 a night. We had something to do with J.B. going to Europe and when he got back, I remember Turner came up to me and said ‘Doggone you, now I gotta pay them $ 7 a night’. No wonder he could charge fifty-cents and give away a beer!
Bob Koester, May, 2014
The original 1968 liner note:
Two bars and a small, second-story dance hall nestle underneath the 39th-Indiana "L" station in Chicago. One of the bars is Turner's Blue Lounge, with the fanciest neon sign on the street. Most blues bars do not feature neon at all; they are ordinary neighborhood taverns with hand painted signs -- MUSIC TONITE JR. WELLS, etc. Nothing on the front of Turner's reveals the presence of a band inside on weekend nights. The residents of the neighborhood have been going to Turner's for years, paying their fifty-cents at the door to dance to a blues trio. The ticket stub is good for a beer or a sizeable down-payment toward a shot. The place is small but, since Turner knows the trouble-makers and keeps them out, the crowded atmosphere on a busy night which always seems at the point of explosion rarely gets out of hand. In a cubicle at the front there is a kitchen which is sometimes inoperative. At the rear, under a slanting ceiling, is the bandstand, unusually large for so small a place, just beyond the bar. You walk in hoping for the comfort of one of the booths along the left wall but if you're not there early, there is usually a table on the floor or in a side-room next to the stand. Beyond the club is an unused beer-garden, the victim of neighbors' complaints.
Until a very few years ago, J.B. Hutto and his Hawks worked at Turner's three nights a week. The Sunday night sessions were particularly interesting because, in addition to J.B.'s slide guitar, Big Walter Horton, who lives in the block, used to sit in on Sunday nights. And Memphis Charlie came in for lessons. Before the piano finally had it, pianists Curtis Jones and Eddie Boyd appeared. Hound Dog Taylor still might show up on a Sunday night if he isn't gigging anywhere. This LP was born at Turner's.
I knew that J.B. Hutto had been discovered by Memphis Charlie when I sidetracked a blues excursion to the South side to try to locate Hound Dog Taylor in the 39th-Indiana area. Double-parking outside Turner's upon hearing the unmistakable sound of a live blues band one summer evening, I inquired at the door. "J.B. Hutto and the Hawks, I was told. The car was quickly parked and we went inside to hear the most exciting, roughest blues band in Chicago. Another obscure name from a not-so-old record label came to life. The band was better than the old Chance 78s had indicated and J.B. Hutto's voice and guitar had both improved with age.
But J.B. had already talked with Pete Welding about recording for Pete's Testament label. And he shortly signed a contract for Vanguard which put him under option for two years. As the Vanguard option expired, Delmark signed J.B. Hutto and cut one session with the Turner's trio, represented here by “Hip Shakin'”. Dick Waterman booked the band on a quick California tour which was musically successful but which had to be cut short when drummer Frank Kirkland fell ill with tuberculosis. No sooner had Frank returned to normal activity than J.B. caught a serious case of pneumonia. Finally, in the Spring of 1968, Delmark returned the Hawks to the studio for the sessions which comprise the bulk of this LP. During the interval since the first session, J.B. Hutto and the Hawk's went through numerous changes. His singing style lost some of its roughness but none of its power. He moved to far-South suburban Harvey, Illinois where he bought a house and the trips to Turner's became less interesting so he quit playing there. But for a year prior to the recording sessions, he rehearsed with a number of sidemen, sat in at clubs all over town and grew enormously in versatility and in his concepts of the band's sound.
It was a long way from Augusta, Georgia where J.B. Hutto was born on April 29th 1926, to this LP. [J.B. was actually born in Blackville, South Carolina, moved to Augusta at age 3.] His father was a farmer. The only music in the family was a gospel-singing group, the Golden Crown Gospel Singers, of which J.B. was a member at a very early age. When his father moved to Chicago to work in the steel mills in 1941, J.B. was thrust into the boiling blues scene of the West side. He took up the drums and at the age of twenty was playing with Johnny Ferguson's Twisters. He heard Big Bill Broonzy in a band at Sylvio's and decided he preferred the guitar, working out between sets on Ferguson's guitar. He heard and was influenced by Muddy Waters and Elmore James. By the time he was 22 he had formed the Hawks, playing the West side blues clubs: Playtime, Happy Home, Globetrotter, etc. Following the pattern of migrants from the South, he moved to the slightly more sophisticated South side after meeting his wife and his musical activities here centered almost exclusively around Turner's for almost ten years.
Since his rediscovery and re-recording, there has been a persistent demand for a whole album of J.B. Hutto and the Hawks, We decided to stretch out a bit and the present album points the way I.B. and his music are heading. Whereas his earlier recordings reflected blues "from the country," today's Hawks are definitely a product of the city culture -- very much in tune with the times and urban life, yet deeply rooted in the rich soil of tradition Here is rowdy, rough blues-the music of NOW - giving the lie to the theory that blues are about to die. Here is the music of artists proud of their tradition and fully capable of projecting it.
SUNNYLAND SLIM (a handier name than Albert Luandrew) is one of the few blues pianists who have not fled the U.S. for the lesser hustle of the artist's life in Europe. Sunnyland came to Chicago relatively late in life, in the early 40s, and joined the crowd that used to hang around Tampa Red's house at 35th and State rehearsing for Lester Melrose-promoted recording sessions for Victor and Columbia, picking up jobs in the bars that were beginning to feature blues an occasional record date accompanying other vocalists. One day, while Melrose was listening to a string group in Red's living room, the distinctive sounds of Doctor Clayton carne from the kitchen where piano rehearsals took place. Doctor Clayton had recently died. Melrose did not believe in ghosts, but it was then as now the custom of record companies to select new artists to continue the tradition of singers who pass away at the height of fame. Bill Gaither had recorded as LeRoy (Carr's) Buddy, Brownie McGhee has achieved fame as Blind Boy Fuller No.2, and Rice Miller became Sonny Williamson. (It is interesting to note that the world of blues abounds in such a wealth of talent that the device frequently introduces artists of value equal to or surpassing that of the namesake.) So it was that a series of records appeared by Albert Luandrew (Sunnyland Slim) DOCTOR CLAYTON'S BUDDY. This established Slim for awhile and he continued to record for the small blues labels of the time: Club 51, Blue Lake, J.O.B., right up to the present day. Among his first sessions were a series for the Aristocrat label (now Chess) which introduced Muddy Waters to the blues buyers. In recent years, Slim has made semi-annual trips to Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival, the Juan Les Pines Jazz Festival, Mariposa Folk Festival in Canada, and numerous club and college concert dates. He has recorded in recent years for Prestige, "77," Blue Horizon and Epic as a featured sideman with the Canned Heat rock band. About five years ago, Slim shifted his preference to the organ and is presented on most tracks of this album on that instrument.
The other sidemen on this record are veteran blues players with the exception of Maurice Mclntyre, who is identified with quite another field. He is a member of the avant garde jazz organization, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. He has recorded in Delmark's modem jazz series with Roscoe Mitchell and Richard Abrams and is preparing for the first Delmark album under his own name.
Lee Jackson's name is known to blues record collectors fur his accompaniments and for his sides on the Cobra label. He was working at Turner's at the time the final session for the album took place and is an old acquaintance of J.B.'s. Dave Myers has played with just about every blues band of recent years from Howling Wolf thru Junior Wells, recorded for most local labels and appeared on Delmark's Arthur Crudup album, DS-614, Look On Yonder Wall. Junior Pettis is one of the many strong young players who always seem to turn up just as the critics are dismissing the younger black generation for seeming disinterest in the blues. Frank Kirkland has been with J.B. for many years and has prior experience with Albert King, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Big Shakey Walter Horton.
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