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Lacy Gibson


l.gibson-crying4mybaby1996

Lacy Gibson - Crying for My Baby - 1996 - Delmark

The virtually unknown blues guitarist, Lacy Gibson released this worthwhile album in 1996 from sessions recorded in March 1977 at P.S Studios, Chicago for the great R&B producer, Ralph Bass. Lacy was a respected Chicago session guitarist during the sixties and seventies, appearing on many noted Chicago blues artists' albums. In 1982, he released his great "Switchy Titchy" album, but it wasn't commercially released in N.America. "Crying for My Baby" is a classy example of real Chicago Blues, and is just one of many albums that have real quality, but never seem to get the acclaim they deserve. Try and listen to Son Seals’ 1978 "Live and Burning" album on which Lacy Gibson lays down some classy blues guitar licks

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. You'd Better Be Sure - Bill McAdoo
2. Easy Woman - Lacy Gibson
3. Crying For My Baby - Harold Burrage
4. Chicago Women - Lee Jackson
5. Blackjack - Ray Charles
6. CB Blues - Lacy Gibson
7. Pleading For Love - Lee Jackson
8. Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You) - Mertis John (Little Willie John)
9. My Love Is Real - Lacy Gibson
10. Dirty Old Man - Lee Jackson
11. Shake It Baby - Copyright Control

MUSICIANS

Lacy Gibson (Guitar, Vocals)
Lee Jackson RIP (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals)
Willie Black (Bass)
Albert Luandrew aka Sunnyland Slim RIP (Piano)
Fred Below RIP (Drums)

ALBUM NOTES

Back in 1977, legendary producer, Ralph Bass undertook a series of recording sessions designed to spotlight the massive amount of underrecorded talent haunting the Chicago blues scene. Many artists participating in the ambitious project (much of which never saw the domestic light of day until Delmark acquired the masters) have since earned worldwide renown, including Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Johnson, Carey Bell, and Eddy Clearwater. Though certainly deserving, Lacy Gibson has yet to achieve an equally exalted status - but at least he still has time. Having recently survived a serious health scare (a tumor was removed near his liver), he's gearing up for a fresh run at stardom. Prior to his illness, Lacy occasionally turned up playing guitar behind Billy Boy Arnold during the veteran harpist’s remarkable comeback. Before that, Gibson held musical court at a now-defunct after-hours club on the West Side that was operated by his wife. Truth be told, Lacy Gibson’s classy guitar work and hearty, impassioned vocals have long deserved a higher profile. Born May 1, 1936 in Salisbury, North Carolina, Lacy and his family relocated to the Windy City in 1949. He was soon mesmerized by the star-studded local blues pantheon, receiving guitar pointers from some of the circuit's most advanced and versatile pickers (notably Lefty Bates, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and Wayne Bennett). By 1963, Gibson was racking up his share of studio sideman credits. Over the course of that year, he played behind pianist Willie Mabon at a date for USA Records, Billy “The Kid" Emerson (on the keyboardist's stinging two-part dance single for M-Pacl, “The Whip"), and Buddy Guy (the classic “No Lie" on Chess). “I come through there with all them boys," Lacy recalls. “We just got together and did some things." Lacy's own vocal debut for Chess that year, the impassioned R&B ballad “My Love ls Real,” went unissued at the time and ended up miscredited to Guy when it belatedly escaped the vaults (it’s on Chess/MCA’s comprehensive two-disc Guy retrospective, still mistakenly attributed). “I did it two or three times (over the years), and got a charge out of it,” he says. A subsequent pair of Gibson 45s for the obscure Repeto label exhibited delinite bargain basement production values (and that’s where they were cut-in Lacy's basementl). His debut LP was cut for an unlikely ally - jazz pioneer Sun Ra - who issued it on his own spacy EI Saturn imprint. “He was my brother-in-law for a while there," says Lacy. “I never did like that album. lt didn't have the right balance on it. Like you do with a lot of ’em, you throw it in the back seat and keep on goin’." Things finally began to look up for Lacy during the late '70s. Besides waxing these sides, he hooked up with guitarist Son Seals, contributing rhythm guitar to Seals’ 1978 Alligator LP Live and Burning. The connection led to four stellar tracks on Alligator's second batch of Living Chicago B/ues anthologies that finally showcased Lacy Gibson at his best. ln 1982, producer Dick Shurman accompanied the guitarist into the studio and emerged with a fine album, Switchy Titchy, that came out in Europe on the Black Magic logo but never found release stateside. Lacy made some intriguing choices when gathering cover material for his Bass-produced date. The guitarist revived Ricky Allen’s shuffling “You'd Better Be Sure," Harold Burrage’s howling “Crying For My Baby," Ray Charles’ agonized “BIackjack," and Little Willie .lohn’s insistent “Take My Love" with a passion honed on countless bandstands. Throughout, Gibson’s guitar work is concise and thoughtful (betraying a hint of Murphy's influence here and there), his vocals resonating with rough-edged vitality. With venerable piano patriarch Sunnyland Slim-a fixture on countless Chicago sessions for nearly half a century as either leader or sideman-laying down a bedrock of solid ivory to build upon, Gibson also investigated his own back catalog at the session, offering incendiary remakes of his aforementioned gem “My Love ls ReaI" and the luxurious blues “Easy Woman." Since Lacy and the same combo backed Lee Jackson on his session for Bass, this set is sensibly rounded out by three tracks showcasing Jackson’s skills as a front man. A blues journeyman in the best sense of the word, Jackson laid down reliable rhythm guitar behind numerous Chicago stalwarts and left behind a slim but select discography of his own. Born August 18, 1921 in Gill, Arkansas (other sources cite St. Louis and Jackson, Mississippi), he played throughout the south before settling in Chicago circa 1950. There he gigged with Johnny Shines and Big Walter l-lorton before cutting a single for Eli Toscano’s Cobra imprint in 1956, “Fishin’ In My Pond”/ “’ll Just Keep Waking,” with support from Horton, Otis Rush, and Willie Dixon. A 1961 45 for Narvel “Cadillac Baby” Eatmon's Key Hole label (“Juanita”/ “Please Baby”), rhythm guitar stints on both of J.B. Hutto’s Delmark LPs (Hawk Squat-#617 and Slidewinder- #636), and Jackson's own 1973 album for Bluesway, Lonely Girl, also rate as career highlights. On this album, Jackson delivers three tracks, including a lascivious “Dirty Old l\/lan” and the “St. Louis Blues"-derived “Chicago Women,” displaying a traditional approach that was permanently stilled on July 1, 1979, when he was shot to death in a domestic dispute. His health now back in order, a rejuvenated Lacy Gibson sounds grateful for another chance at life and another crack at rebuilding his musical career. “You know, l sit down and I think-most of the old-time musicians, my friends, are dead. I thought l was goin' to be in that line for a minute there,” he muses. Then he adds happily, “l ain’t ready to go yet!" © BILL DAHL

BIO

Slowly returning to musical action following major surgery, guitarist Lacy Gibson has been an underappreciated figure on the Windy City circuit for decades. Lacy and his family left North Carolina for Chicago in 1949. It didn't take long for Gibson to grow entranced by the local action — he learned from veterans Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters and picked up pointers from immaculate axemen Lefty Bates, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and Wayne Bennett. Gibson made a name for himself as a session player in 1963, assuming rhythm guitar duties on sides by Willie Mabon for USA, Billy "The Kid" Emerson for M-Pac!, and Buddy Guy on Chess. Gibson made his vocal debut on the self-penned blues ballad "My Love Is Real" at Chess the same year, though it wasn't released at the time (when it belatedly emerged, it was mistakenly attributed to Guy). A couple of bargain basement 45s for the remarkably obscure Repeto logo (that's precisely where they were done — in Lacy Gibson's basement!) preceded Gibson's inconsistent album debut for then-brother-in-law Sun Ra's El Saturn label. Ralph Bass produced an album by Gibson in 1977, but the results weren't issued at the time (Delmark is currently releasing the set domestically). A stint as Son Seals's rhythm axeman (he's on Seals's Live and Burning LP) provided an entree to Alligator Records, which included four fine sides by Gibson on its second batch of Living Chicago Blues anthologies in 1980. Best of all was a Dick Shurman-produced album for the Dutch Black Magic logo in 1982, Switchy Titchy, that brilliantly spotlighted Gibson's clean fretwork and hearty vocals. After he regained his health in the mid-'90s, Lacy Gibson entered the studio and recorded Crying for My Baby, which was released in 1996. © Bill Dahl © 2009 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kbfrxq85ldfe~T1