Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Johnny Shines

  • Johnny Shines [Blue Horizon, 1972] A-
  • Too Wet to Plow [Blue Labor, 1977] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Johnny Shines [Blue Horizon, 1972]
Born in 1915, Shines is the most vigorous surviving practitioner of acoustic Delta blues. With his intense vibrato, his observant, imaginative, yet tradition-soaked lyrics, and his incomparable slide guitar, he ought to be recorded once a year by the Library of Congress. Right. He did this session for English blues fiend Mike Vernon in 1968, but only now has it been released in the States. A band featuring Willie Dixon and Shakey Horton is on half the cuts. A-

Too Wet to Plow [Blue Labor, 1977]
Shines isn't Robert Johnson made flesh and come to walk amongst us--you should hear his Biograph stuff--but here he takes advantage of his forty-year edge to make an album that's easier to listen to--because it sounds better--than King of the Delta Blues Singers. Engineering is only a means to an end--the real secret is a devotion to the form so passionate that Shines's playing and singing are wild and brilliant as they've never been before. Guitarist and change-of-pace vocalist Louisiana Red and harpman Sugar Blue add small touches of plenty. The songwriting fades some on side two. A-