Jimmy Dawkins came to Chicago from Tchula, Mississippi in 1955 at the age of 19 and began playing on Roosevelt Road with Lester Hinton and Left-Hand Frank Craig. Dawkins’ long discography dates back to his incendiary debut, Fast Fingers, on Delmark in 1969, a must-have for any record collection. He followed with two more Delmark releases, plus albums on Earwig, Evidence, Storyville, JSP, and Ichiban. His final recording was Tell Me Baby (2002) on the Fedora label.


In demand for his chilling fretwork, he made appearances on the recordings of Koko Taylor, Tail Dragger, Mighty Joe Young, Eddy Clearwater, Voice Odom, Wild Child Butler, Johnny Young, Walter Horton, Luther Allison, Carey Bell, Paul Delay, and even Sleepy John Estes. Known for his penchant for spontaneous, unrehearsed recording, and for his often ad-libbed lyrics that comment on the social and political scene, Dawkins tackled such subjects as welfare, the White House, and Reaganomics. He passed away in 2013.

Paying tribute to Dawkins will be guitarists Linsey Alexander and Billy Flynn. Flynn has cited Dawkins as one of his earliest personal inspirations. The two ery guitarists frequently performed together, and recorded on Dawkins’ 1991 Kant Sheck Dees Bluze on the Earwig label. Billy Flynn won a Grammy for his work backing Beyonce on the Cadillac Records movie soundtrack.


In addition to nearly a dozen self-produced releases, the ever-humble Flynn has recorded with Jody Williams, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Dawkins, Mississippi Heat, The Legendary Blues Band, James Wheeler, Willie Kent, Kim Wilson, John Brim, Willie Smith, and many others. Flynn’s well-received new release, Lonesome Highway, is on the Delmark label.

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