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Blues, soul, Ramp;B, with Hi-Rhythm (Al Green, Ann Peebles) featuring Teenie Hodges-guitar, Charles Hodges-organ amp; piano, Leroy Hodges-bass, Howard Grimes-drums.
...one of the most astounding comeback discs we've been blessed with in a long time. Here he's reunited with the Hi rhythm section - Teenie Hodges on guitar, Teenie's brothers Charles and Fred on keyboards and Leroy on bass, and drummer Howard Grimes - and it's as if they had never been apart. The Hi men sound as if their aim is as true as ever... and Syl's voice explodes with all of the sinewy sensuality at his command... the impish double-entendre of I Will Rise Again; the savory soul stew that Johnson heats to a boil on such numbers as Keep On Loving Me, Watch What You Do To Me, and Take Me To the River; the gospel ecstasy of Dipped in the Water, featuring Johnson's daughter Syleena Thompson on guest vocals; the heartfelt exuberance throughout - everything here points to a major resurgence of an Ramp;B talent who's been too long forgotten. This is without a doubt one of the essential recordings of 1994-95. --David Whiteis, Living Blues
The songs here serve to remind you of the tie that binds good soulful blues and gospel... Syl's guitar playing is a mean, stabbing staccato, backed by as solid and tight a rhythm section as you've ever heard. --Michael Dregni, Vintage Guitar
Back in the Game marks the guitarist-harmonica player-singer's stunning return and is the strongest contemporary soul-blues album I've heard in a long time. Johnson reveals the depth of his blues roots with a rousing cover of Roosevelt Sykes Driving Wheel and Magic Sam's "i"All of Your Love while his stellar reprise of "i"Take Me To The River threatens to make his original recording of the song pale in comparison. Though Johnson's style is rooted in the slinky, uptown soul of Chicago, Hi Rhythm brings a tasty Memphis flavor to the proceedings, making this disc a winner in any game. --Sing Out Magazine!