Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Willie Dixon: I Am the Blues [Columbia, 1970]
Dixon is the first important blues composer since the classic era who isn't also an important singer. Between songwriting royalties and production income, he doesn't have to perform much--which may be why his records are so undistinguished. It's not that Dixon doesn't have a "good voice"--is it ever? But he's never developed his expressive potential. The material is classic, and the backing by an anonymous "hand-picked crew of Chicago blues veterans" adds personality (is that Otis Spann?), but this document is for collectors only. B