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April 1997

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R.J. Mischo & the Teddy Morgan Blues Band
Ready To Go!
Atomic Theory Records

R.J Mischo album coverReady To Go!, originally released in 1992 by Blue Moon Records, has been a hard-to-find collectible. Thanks to Minneapolis’ Atomic Theory, those of us who missed it the first time around get a second chance to score a copy of this excellent disk. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by again.

Harmonica player R.J. Mischo has long been a mainstay on the Minneapolis blues circuit, while Teddy Morgan has since moved on to Austin and released two good albums for Antone’s. Mischo proves to be an exceptionally good Chicago-style blues harmonica player. Morgan, who was barely out of his teens when this disk was recorded, plays wonderfully tasty guitar throughout. Rounding out this topnotch ensemble were guest singer Percy Strother, who has recorded several albums on his own, Lamont Cranston band vet Bruce McCabe on piano, bassist Bill Black, and drummer Robb Stupka. A review of the original album said that it should bear label of "recorded in Chicago, 1955" --- that says it all, folks.

The hottest cut is when Strother steps to the mic for a version of Muddy Waters’ "Forty Days." I had to check the CD player to see if I had instead inadvertently popped in an old Muddy disk. Wow! Strother also gets to shine on the opening number, "She’s Murder," a raucous number which also includes excellent harp work by Mischo. Morgan gets his chance to stretch out on the instrumental "Kidstuff."

If you like jump style blues, then the entire band will rock and roll you with "Rockin’ The Mule." Everyone solos on this tune, but it’s Mischo’s vocals that stand out. Mischo then displays his harmonica prowess on the instrumental "R.J.’s Jump." The guy can really play. Then McCabe takes the spotlight on another instrumental, "McCabe’s 88’s."

Finally, Strother does a killer version of one of my favorite blues songs, Howlin’ Wolf’s "Evil." McCabe contributes nice piano on this number.

Who knows how long this disk will be available in its second coming. Don’t hesitate --- get it now before it again becomes a collector’s item.

- Bill Mitchell

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