JB Hutto & His Hawks With Sunnyland Slim: Hawk Squat

The Chicago slide guitarist on a reissue of his 1968 album.

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The Blues Foundation has placed this album in its Hall Of Fame, an honour that might have been better awarded to Hutto’s 80s albums Rock With Me Tonight or Slideslinger, where the toughness of his singing and guitar-playing was alleviated by more textured settings.

Hawk Squat, though studio-recorded, has the less-arranged sound of a club engagement. Sunnyland Slim’s piano on If You Change Your Mind or Too Much Pride is a welcome second voice, as is the tenor sax of jazzman Maurice McIntyre, but Slim is stodgier when he switches to organ, and with second guitarist Lee Jackson low in the mix the effect can be rather stark. But the vituperative 20% Alcohol‘When the neighbours see you comin’, they run and close their doors’ – and other intense performances raise this high among Hutto’s albums.