Get this crazy baby off my head!


Frank Collier Band (Featuring Shun Kikuta, & Jumior Wells )

Frank Collier Band (Featuring Shun Kikuta, & Jumior Wells ) - Funky Blues - 1994 - King Records (Japan)

It is very difficult to find info about this release. For many years Shun Kikuta has produced and collaborated on many blues recordings. The Japanese King Records group commissioned Shun to produce this Japanese release, "Funky Blues". It's a good album, and the album title describes the music very well. Great playing from many obviously very experienced musicians, and some good covers, including T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday Blues" and Bonnie Rice's "Mustang Sally". The album features The Frank Collier Band, Chicago Fire, the great guitarist, Shun Kikuta, and a rare appearance from the late Junior Wells. Sleeve notes are mainly in Japanese, and details about musicians are limited. Any info on the Frank Collier Band, and Chicago Fire would be greatly appreciated. Buy Shun Kikuta's classy "Rising Shun" album, and listen to Junior Wells' album "Come On In This House" which is is also a brilliant album.


1 Funky Blues - Frank Collier
2 Still In Love - Frank Collier
3 Can't Stop - Frank Collier
4 Gone For Good - Frank Collier
5 Treated Me So Bad - Frank Collier
6 I'm A Blues Man - J.Shamwell/A.D Prestage/W.Godbo
7 Stormy Monday Blues - T-Bone Walker
8 Mustang Sally - Bonnie Rice
9 Never Make A Move Too Soon - "Stix" Hooper/Will Jennings
10 I've Got To Use My Imagination - Gerry Goffin/Barry Goldberg
11 Watch Me Move - Junior Wells
12 Little By Little - Junior Wells


Frank Collier Band - Frank Collier, Vocals, Bass: Shun Kikuta, Lead Guitars: Roosevelt Purify, Keyboards: James Knowles, Drums, Percussion

Chicago Fire - Bill McFarland, Trombone: Kenny Anderson, Trumpet: Rodney Browne, Saxophone (Chicago Fire play on Tracks 1,3,4,7,8,9 & 11)

Background Vocals on Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,8,9 & 10 - Nikki Rich, Valerie Adams, Denise Austin

Jumior Wells (Special Guest) - Harmonica on Track 1, & Vocals, Harmonica on Tracks 11 & 12


Shun Kikuta was born on September 8,1966. After graduating from high school in Japan he went to Berklee college of music. He first studied jazz, but in his second year he heard B.B. King's"Live at the Regal" which opened his eyes to the blues. He moved to Chicago in 1990 after graduating from Berklee. He polished his skills there on the street and in jam sessions. Only two months after his arrival he got a regular gig with the Louis Myers band. Shun says he learned a lot--getting growled instructions from Louis right on stage in front of the audience! After Louis retired, Shun played with Big Time Sarah and with Tommy McCracken. Later he played with the Frank Collier band. In 1994 Shun recorded Funky Blues for Japan's King Records. The late Junior Wells played on the album. That led to Shun playing regularly with wells, touring with his band in America and Canada. During this period Shun played on Tribute to Magic Sam (Evidence 26086-2). Many readers will already know Shun's playing from this recording. Shun is now an essential part of J.W. Williams and The Chi-Town Hustlers. He is highly respected among blues greats in Chicago and in high demand for gigs. So far he has released two collections in Japan playing as the lead performer and a live CD recorded in Japan with J.W. Williams and the band. Two of these are scheduled for release in the U.S. and Canada in August. Look for Me and My Guitar (Bluesox Production BS-001) and Live and Kickin' (Bluesox Production BS-002). The first of these, recorded in 1995, includes J.W. on vocals and bass with guest appearances by Junior Wells and Otis Rush. The second is the Japanese live recording with, in addition to Shun, Fumio Ishikawa on harp and Makoto Ayukawa on guitar. Both offer great opportunities to hear Shun's tight blues style and J.W.'s soulful vocals and bass--and, of course, the guest appearances. Shun has come a long way from his early days in Japan to become an integral part of the Chicago blues scene. I hope readers will take the time to get acquainted with Shun's work if they don't already know it. © 1999-2001 by Hiroshi Takahashi


He was one bad dude, strutting across the stage like a harp-toting gangster, mesmerizing the crowd with his tough-guy antics and rib-sticking Chicago blues attack. Amazingly, Junior Wells kept at precisely this sort of thing for over 40 years — he was an active performer from the dawn of the 1950s to his death in the late '90s. Born in Memphis, Wells learned his earliest harp licks from another future legend, Little Junior Parker, before he came to Chicago at age 12. In 1950, the teenager passed an impromptu audition for guitarists Louis and David Myers at a house party on the South side, and the Deuces were born. When drummer Fred Below came aboard, they changed their name to the AcesLittle Walter left Muddy Waters in 1952 (in the wake of his hit instrumental, "Juke"), and Wells jumped ship to take his place with Waters. That didn't stop the Aces (who joined forces with Little Walter) from backing Wells on his initial sessions for States Records, though — his debut date produced some seminal Chicago blues efforts, including his first reading of "Hoodoo Man," a rollicking "Cut That Out," and the blazing instrumentals "Eagle Rock" and "Junior's Wail." More fireworks ensued the next year when he encored for States with a mournful "So All Alone" and the jumping "Lawdy! Lawdy!" (Muddy Waters moonlighted on guitar for the session). Already Wells was exhibiting his tempestuous side — he was allegedly AWOL from the Army at the time. In 1957, Wells hooked up with producer Mel London, who owned the Chief and Profile logos. The association resulted in many of Wells's most enduring sides, including "I Could Cry" and the rock & rolling "Lovey Dovey Lovely One" in 1957; the grinding national R&B hit "Little by Little" (with Willie Dixon providing vocal harmony) in 1959, and the R&B-laced classic "Messin' with the Kid" in 1960 (sporting Earl Hooker's immaculate guitar work). Wells's harp was de-emphasized during this period on record in favor of his animated vocals. With Bob Koester producing, the harpist cut an all-time classic LP for Delmark in 1965. Hoodoo Man Blues vividly captured the feel of a typical Wells set at Theresa's Lounge, even though it was cut in a studio. With Buddy Guy (initially billed as "Friendly Chap" due to his contract with Chess) providing concise lead guitar, Wells laid down definitive versions of "Snatch It Back and Hold It," "You Don't Love Me," and "Chittlin' Con Carne." The harpist made his second appearance on the national R&B lists in 1968 with a funky James Brown-tinged piece, "You're Tuff Enough," for Mercury's feisty Blue Rock logo. Wells had been working in this bag for some time, alarming the purists but delighting R&B fans; his brass-powered 1966 single for Bright Star, "Up in Heah," had previously made a lot of local noise. After a fine mid-'70s set for Delmark (On Tap), little was heard from Wells on vinyl for an extended spell, though he continued to enjoy massive appeal at home (Theresa's was his principal haunt for many a moon) and abroad (whether on his own or in partnership with Guy; they opened for the Rolling Stones on one memorable tour and cut an inconsistent but interesting album for Atco in the early '70s). Toward the end of his career, Wells just didn't seem to be into recording anymore; a pair of sets for Telarc in the early '90s were major disappointments, but his last studio session, 1997's Come on in This House, found him on the rebound and the critics noticed — the album won the W.C. Handy Blues Award for Traditional Blues Album in 1997. Even when he came up short in the studio, Wells remained a potent live attraction, cutting a familiar swaggering figure, commanding the attention of everyone in the room with one menacing yelp or a punctuating blast from his amplified harmonica. He continued performing until he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in the summer of 1997. That fall, he suffered a heart attack while undergoing treatment, sending him into a coma. Wells stayed in the coma until he passed away on January 15, 1998. A handful of compilations were released shortly after his death, as was the film Blues Brothers 2000, which featured a cameo by Wells. © Bill Dahl, allmusic.com