The musical synergy between Lester “Big Daddy” Kinsey and his funk-obsessed sons is often shaky, but his gutbucket traditionalism juxtaposed against the boys’ harsh, metallic, urban-contemporary onslaught creates one of the more arresting sounds in contemporary blues. Kinsey is an unreconstructed devotee of Muddy Waters–his slide work on standards like Funny Paper Smith’s “I’m a Howlin’ Wolf” is lifted almost note-for-note from Muddy’s live performances. The addition of west-side harp master Mad Dog Lester Davenport in recent years has significantly strengthened Big Daddy’s ability to cut through his sons’ accompaniment and deliver blues of subtlety and substance. The younger Kinseys pour funk blues, reggae, metal, and world beat into a dizzying melange that sometimes verges on cacophony. On a good night, though, they combine bluesy dedication and youthful audacity with a panache unmatched anywhere this side of Lucky Peterson. Saturday, Rosa’s, 3420 W. Armitage; 342-0452.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.