Byther Smith – All Night Long
Delmark DE 708 (1997)
Byther Smith, the former boxer, is a scrapper, a hard worker and a musician who now fights his fight from stage and studio, sweating out his rage as he dances in his corner; sparring with the audience and battling with the world. He takes his anger and muscles it into his instrument, knocking off hunks of raw emotions in dissonant chords and in jabbed, stabbed, and lacerated notes. He spits it into his lyrics, and shouts it in strangled, unashamed cries and fiery exhortations. Byther worked with many of the greats including Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and, for six years, Junior Welles. His first Delmard album, Mississippi Kid (Delmark 691), received critical acclaim including this quote from David Whiteis of the Chicago Reader: “‘Smitty’ is as powerful a blues poet as any working today.” All Night Long features thirteen new Byther Smith original compositions.