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Sonny Boy Williamson (this being version 2.0, Rice Miller) was one of the great characters in blues, and his 1959 debut album absolutely overflows with personality. The Arkansas native was 60 years old by this time, but the years, if anything, made him an even more headstrong, commanding artist than he was by nature. Williamson was a truly gifted songwriter capable of penning vivid lyrics that ranked with the best in the genre. Indeed, Down and Out Blues is rife with Sonny Boy songs that have become blues staples, including "Don't Start Me to Talkin'," "Fattening Frogs for Snakes," and "Your Funeral and My Trial." Chess Records' crack regulars, spearheaded by guitarists Muddy Waters and Robert Jr. Lockwood, provide suitably gritty support, helping to make this 12-song set one of the touchstones of electric blues. Great cover art, too. --Steven Stolder



1. Don't Start Me To Talkin'

2. I Don't Know

3. All My Love In Vain

4. The Key (To Your Door)

5. Keep It To Yourself

6. Dissatisfied (Mono Version)

7. Fattening Frogs For Snakes (Single Version)

8. Wake Up Baby

9. Your Funeral And My Trial

10. Ninety Nine

11. Cross My Heart

12. Let Me Explain




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