Arthur Duncan was born in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1934. He was raised on the Woodburn Plantation, where B.B. King grew up. Arthur began his musical career as a drummer, but after he moved to Chicago in 1950, he met Little Walter and took up the harmonica. For a while during the 1950's, Arthur shared a house with Little Walter and Jimmy Reed. During these years Arthur sang and played in blues clubs all over Chicago. Most of the time he had his own band, but often he would work with artists such as Hip Linkchain, John Brim, and Floyd Jones.
Throughout the 1960's and 1970's Arthur worked construction jobs during the week, and played blues around Chicago on the weekends. By the 1980's he was working regularly at some of Chicago's premier blues clubs, including Kingston Mines, Rosa's, B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted, and Lilly's. In 1989 he recorded an album called Bad Reputation for Blues King Records.
Problems with Arthur's teeth kept him from performing during most of the 1990's. But in 1998 he acquired a whole new set of chompers, and he has returned to the blues scene with a vengeance. This was particularly good timing for Little Arthur, since Cannonball Records coincidentally released four tracks from Bad Reputation on their CD called Blues Across America -- The Chicago Scene (see enclosed reviews).
In 1999, Delmark Records brought Little Arthur into the studio to record this solid set of Chicago Blues. The band is top-notch, including local stalwarts Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith on drums, Rockin' Johnny, Eddie Taylor Jr., and Billy Flynn on guitars, and Sho Komiya on bass. Young lion Martin Lang adds his vicious harmonica on several tracks. Singin' With The Sun was nominated for a W.C. Handy award.
This is the real Chicago Blues. Gritty, raw, and thoroughly uninhibited. Dig it.
1. Pretty Thing
2. Knockin' On Your Door
3. No Place To Go
4. Sugar Bee
5. Mattie Mae
6. Itchin' Back
7. Singin' With The Sun
8. Tribute to Jimmy Reed
9. Bad Reputation
11. Leaving Mississippi
12. Blues After Hours
13. My Baby Left Me Out On The Road
14. Singin' With The Sun (remix)