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Grady Champion

Grady Champion
Payin' For My Sins
1999, Shanachie

From the rolling hills, cotton fields and piney woods of Canton, Mississippi comes a harp playing man named Grady Champion. His is a primal Delta blowing that echoes Sonny Boy. His lead vocals are that throaty, vibrato-laden type that reminds me of Koko Taylor. Growling and howling the blues, Grady's first release, "Payin' For My Sins" bodes well for his and the blues' future. He is steadfast and sings with real heart. His pipes and harp have gotten him into some real fine places, like beside Jr. Wells and Luther Allison. Champion's righteous approach and raw energy remind one of the late great Mr. Allison, too. The disk features mostly originals and a couple of covers that are graced by guitarist Alan Mirikitani's slashing and ripping axework. Some of the standout cuts include an AIDS updated "Goin' Down Slow," [.wav sample from Grady Champion's web site] a cocksure "My Rooster is King" as well as the patented blues "You Got Some Explaining To Do." Grady is good news—it's a fine CD and the blues is in good hands, enjoy.—Mark Gresser

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