Jimmy Reed has the combination of the greatest guitar word, Southern accent, and voice style. His decorative harmonica surely is his signature instrument. To this day, his R&B release has been beloved one of many people in the world.
His first-ever productive run in the R&B chart was with the entry of 1955’s “You Don’t Have To Go”. With that, he went on to have a remarkable career for over 20 years. Later on in the 60s, The Rolling Stones made their way into the scene but with Rock and Roll and Keith Richards was the one who defined the band.
His charisma, virtuosic fingerstyle technique, and lyrics were all rocky as it comes. But it also incorporated blues classic artists such as Muddy Waters and Jimmy Cliff. While there are many people Keith admires, once he recalled that there is a “totally unique” guitarist.
During the interview with Planet Rock, Keith remembered his favorite records. In the interview, he named Jimmy Reed’s 1956’s ‘You Got Me Dizzy’. He recalled, “He was totally unique amongst even all of the other 1950s and ’60s bluesmen out of Chicago.” Richards talked about the song ‘You Got Me Dizzy’. He said that it is very simple. There are no solos or other extra kinds of stuff in the song. Richards added, “He is such a distinctive sound. It was almost as if he was laying out to you. Like ‘Look, it’s really not hard to do. You’ve just got to relax and get into it.”
Richards went on about him. He continued, “Such a simplicity of sound, So stark and at the same time such an underlying humour in it. Which is why I picked ‘You Got Me Dizzy’, because he just flings this thing around and is just so beautifully natural. There is no pretension about it. I love Jimmy Reed, a unique sound. There are thousands and thousands of Blues players out there and to find a unique sound and a way to play it is an extra touch of genius. Jimmy Reed had it.”
Jimmy Reed learned to play the guitar under electric guitar master Eddie Taylor. After being great in what he does, Reed moved to Chicago, Illinois back in the day to pursue music. He was also drafted into the US Navy during the Second World War. After getting off of military service, he worked at a meatpacking plant. With his talent, by the 50s he was already an established musician and signed himself to Vee-Jay Records. He went on to release some of the best blues songs.
Listen to ‘You’ve Got Me Dizzy’ down below.