Little Jimmy King is the latest of the high-energy young bluesmen who have stepped forward recently to bring the blues screaming into the post-1970s rock era. King toured for two years with his adopted grandfather Albert King (thus his stage nane; Little Jimmy’s real name is Manuel Gales) before going solo a little over a year ago. Now on his own, he still plays with the steely ferocity of his mentor, but he hits levels of high-voltage mania that Albert never dreamed of, and he’s liable to throw in an unexpected dash of jazzy sophistication when you least expect it. Still, it’s a bit premature to saddle King with titles like “Carrier of the Flame” and “The Next Generation’s Blues Messenger,” as some critics have attempted: he’s got a ways to go to find his own style–echoes of Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert King show up a few too many times in his solos–and his voice needs seasoning. But there’s no denying that he has talent, attitude, and dedication to burn. Tonight, Fitzgerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn; 708-788-2118.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jack Kenner.