Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Robert Jr. Lockwood & Johnny Shines

  • Hangin' On [Rounder, 1980] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hangin' On [Rounder, 1980]
The formal double-bind of the Delta blues these two students and near-contemporaries of Robert Johnson pursue so loyally isn't as constricting as that of the more recent Chicago style--there's no dated "commercial" formula, so attempts at progress aren't as likely to sound like awkward compromises. The acoustic duets, alternated (never shared) lead vocals, relaxed two-man horn arrangements, and funk-influenced drumming of their recording debut may read like a mishmash, but Shines's singing and songwriting fills in the holes for Lockwood, who has made unpretentious eclecticism a specialty for years. A-