Chicago Blues: Diamond JIm Greene
by Terry "Gatorman" Lape

Posted on 11/11/2009 by Gatorman



And now on with the show

I recently went to Buddy Guy’s Legends to see and Hear Ana Popovic. She did not go on until eleven that evening and I arrived at about 8:30. I am so glad that I did.  If I had not been early I would have missed Diamond Jim Greene. Playing harmonica with him was a acquaintance of mine Lamar Harris. They were one of two opening acts. Diamond Jim Greene is a great Delta to Piedmont acoustic blues artist. Buddy Guys Is nice ,but I was quite upset with the way people were talking and not paying much attention to the performance. I  tuned the talkers out.

He grew up on the Southside of Chicago in the 50’s.  Jim is an extraordinary bluesman whose time has come. I have listened to his CD “Holdin’ On” many times. The only problem is I only have one copy.  I need two copies, one for the car and one for the house.
Mr. Greene hits us right off with a very soulful rendition of “Please Send Me someone To Love”,
and then jumps right into “Custard Pie”, acoustic style. “Oh Glory (How Happy I Am)” captures Reverend Gary Davis’ era quite nicely. It contains some very nice vocals and musical accompaniment.  The piano man adds to the composition without distracting from it. I especially like the way the vocals build. Jim’s guitar picking is outstanding.  “Come and Go Blues” is an example of a new version of a rock blues song. I previously heard it performed by Greg Allman of the Allman brothers.  Diamond Jim does an awesome job.  “Hot Tamales”, is an example of the great early blues man Robert Johnson. What a great tribute to the man I consider to be the father of the blues. Please no emails it is my opinion and I’m sticking to it.
“Please Call Home” another Greg Allman tune features excellent guitar work from Diamond. “Gates to the City” traditionally called “Twelve Gates to the City” I first heard by Reverend Davis via Youtube.  Jim does an amazing tribute to the Reverend with this one song.
“Jug Band Music” is Memphis Jug band music to the tee.  With Jim’s Growling Vocals and the barrelhouse piano it is a step back in time and should be considered an historical recording. There are not many people preserving this type of music.  “Girlfriend Blues”, displays Jim’s prowess with slide guitar. This is one of my favorites and I wish there was more solo slide guitar.
 “Death Comes A Creeping” is another traditional song that is presented in that old down home blues style. “Eliza”, has quite a New Orleans swing to it. The piano man really pigeon holes the sound with his rolling style of finger placement. “Tee Tot Blues”   by Hank Williams Junior is about a guitar man that taught Hank how to play. Nice guitar work and violin.

This CD should be part of any blues fans collection. It is representative of many different styles of the blues. I will be out to see Diamond Jim Greene again. 

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