Strictly judging from the lyrical sentiment of his recordings, it might be wise not to make Chicago guitarist Byther Smith angry. Smitty's uncompromising songs are filled with threats of violence and ominous menace (the way blues used to be before the age of political correctness), sometimes to the point where his words don't even rhyme. They don't have to, either -- you're transfixed by the sheer intensity of his music. Smitty came to Chicago during the mid-'50s after spending time toiling on an Arizona cattle ranch. He picked up guitar tips from J.B. Lenoir (his first cousin), Robert Jr. Lockwood, and Hubert Sumlin, then began playing in the clubs during the early '60s. Theresa's Lounge was his main haunt for five years as he backed Junior Wells; he also played with the likes of Big Mama Thornton, George "Harmonica" Smith, and Otis Rush.