A brilliant account of the cat in the dirty white suit.

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So much has been written about the rise, near death and resurrection of Wilko Johnson that his old Dr Feelgood bandmate Lee Brilleaux has been left in the shade a bit.

Johnson biographer Zoë Howe redresses the balance with this beautifully executed tribute to the harp blasting, Howlin’ Wolf-throated leader of the greatest British R&B band. Friends, family and acquaintances give us a glimpse of the funny, complex and driven man behind the legend and you come away wishing you’d had the chance to buy him a pint.

Sadly, both Johnson and Brilleaux were brought to their knees by cancer. While Johnson pulled off a miracle of biblical proportions and beat the odds at the Big Casino, his old sparring partner passed away in 1994. They never reconciled but as this remarkable book proves, the two men always had one thing in common: they never stopped believing in the power of the blues.

Ed Mitchell

Ed Mitchell was the Editor of The Blues Magazine from 2012-16, and a contributor to Classic Rock and Louder. He died in October 2022, aged 52. A one-time Reviews Editor on Total Guitar magazine from 2003, his guitar-modding column, Ed’s Shed, appeared in print on both sides of the Atlantic (in both Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines), and he wrote stories for Classic Rock and Guitarist. Between them, the websites Louder, MusicRadar and Guitar World host over 400 of his articles – among them interviews with Billy Gibbons, Paul Weller, Brian Setzer, profiles on Roy Buchanan, Duane Allman and Peter Green, a joint interview with Jimmy Page and Jack White, and dozens of guitar reviews – and that’s just the ones that made it online.