Big Jack Johnson, Daddy, When Is Mama Coming Home?

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

While electric Delta bluesman Big Jack Johnson normally has unimpeachable credentials for purists, this threw 'em for a loop. Sure, that husky voice remains strong and convincing. And his rhythm guitar, which has also been known to careen out into the Hendrix Zone when he solos, is still jagged enough to draw blood. But what's with the original songs about wife-beating, AIDS, airline hassles and the economy? And is that a synthesizer, fer Chrissakes, fattening some arrangements?