The Importance of Not Being Earnest

Bluesman’s son keeps wicked slide alive

Let’s face it: Elmore James Jr. rings a hell of a lot swanker than “Earnest Jr. -- Mr. Soul," the name the son of the late slide-blues great Elmore James was using in ’65, when another blues legend, Willie Dixon, convinced him to take his dad’s name professionally. That’s not the only thing he got from the itinerant James Sr., who saw his son (born Earnest Johnson) infrequently, when he was touring. When they did connect, James Sr. taught young Earnest the wicked slide work that characterized his sound, especially the 1952 smash “Dust My Broom.”
Sun., Sept. 6, 7 p.m., 2009
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