James Kinds was one of the rising blues stars of Chicago in the 1970’s, but his soul-influenced style that made him popular on the city’s West Side was a throwback to an earlier era, and while other artists modernized their styles, Kinds stuck to the route he had chosen. Ultimately, he decided that a change of venue might be the answer, and he relocated to Dubuque, Iowa. If Iowa doesn’t immediately come to mind when one thinks of blues, the state has been good to James Kinds, and he was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. His Delmark release “Love You From The Top” highlights his typical Chicago blues stylings, tinged with soul. There’s nothing particularly unusual here. Most of the songs deal with love and relationships ( “Love You From The Top”, “Peggy Sue”, “Katie” and “Johnny Mae”), but the updated “Crack Headed Woman” take on the older “Wine Head Woman” is a sad commentary on how things haven’t changed for the better. James Kinds may not be a household name of the blues, but his album “Love You From The Top” satisfies. 

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