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May 2012

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Curtis Salgado
Soul Shot
Alligator Records

Curtis Salgado

I just got back from the Blues Music Awards in Memphis and was happy to see Curtis Salgado win the BMA for Soul Blues Male Artist of the year. Having just been blown away (literally) by his new release on Alligator Records, Soul Shot, it’s safe to say that Curtis will be the favorite to win the award again next year. So let’s give it a spin.

The disc opens with the Bobby Womack classic, “What You Gonna Do?,” and it’s almost overpowering. Curtis’s vocals are top notch and he’s backed by a band dominated by members of the Phantom Blues Band who are up to the task. Up next is an original, “Love Comfort Zone,” and Curtis is definitely in love with the woman he’s with. “When I home get tonight…there’ll be some candlelight…she’ll be looking fine…I just can’t wait…won’t be late…so you tell the boss…I ain’t working overtime!” Curtis is happy and it definitely shows. Rest assured his woman is a spoiled Queen and deservedly so. Darrell Leonard’s trumpet dominates the intro for our next tune as Curtis tackles George Clinton’s “Gettin’ to Know You.”

Another Salgado original, “She Didn’t Cut Me Loose,” is our fourth cut and is probably my favorite tune on the disc. Curtis learned some valuable life lessons and he’s happy to share them with us, “we fell in love…we tied the knot…we held it tight…or so I thought…then she laid it on me…oh yes she did…said I was good enough to keep her satisfied…she didn’t cut me loose…she set me free…best thing that happened to me!” Curtis learned a valuable life lesson about love and is very happy that this woman is gone from his life.

A ballad, “Nobody but You,” is up next and we find Curtis is back in love. “Don’t you know baby…that I’m all strung out over you…you make feel like I wanna live…every time I wanna die…I don’t need any one else…but you!” Life is good and Curtis is content to stay right where he’s at with a woman loving him and treating him right. It doesn’t get any better and he knows it. This romantic streak continues with “Let Me Make Love to You.” “Let me make love to you baby…I’ll be good…I’ll better than better…neater than neater…sweeter than sweeter…I promise I’ll do anything you want me to….anything a man in love will do.” Curtis is at the top of his game vocally and every tune on this disc is reflective of that.

The next song he tackles is the Otis Redding tune, “Love Man.” “Make love to you in the morning…make love to you in the night…make love to you when you think about it…I’m the love man!” Curtis is eager to please and working hard at it. “He Played His Harmonica” is another original tune about a sharp dressed, street smart harp player. “And when the young blood with a pompadour, a tailored suit, one button low…he said ‘there’s more to me than meets the eye…I’m hustling…dressing fly…I’m here to rock your world…and I ain’t lying….then he played his harmonica….people came from blocks around….just to hear his righteous sound!” A cool tune, I like the vibe and the vision I have in my mind’s eye of the harp player in question. Good job, Curtis.

Another ballad, “Baby, Let Me Take You in My Arms,” gets the Salgado touch and Curtis is full of emotion. “Baby…let me kiss you…baby…baby…let me kiss your lips…let me kiss you til I feel your soul…can’t you see that I need you!” He’s definitely a lover, not a fighter with a sweet, silver tongue to boot. Curtis’s version of “Strung Out” by Johnny Guitar Watson is the next tune and Franck Goldwasser has the guitar lead on this one. “I’ll do whatever she says…it’s got to be…it’s got to be…because I’m strung out…baby…strung out you!” She’s in control this time and Curtis is smart enough to know it.

The last cut on the disc, “A Woman or the Blues,” is another Salgado original and Curtis is finding himself with a difficult choice to make. “You see a man comes to a crossroads…deciding which way to go…it’s up to you…when you choose…a woman or the Blues!” The road to hell is paved with good intentions and the way Curtis lays the story out, both paths have their pitfalls!

Soul Shot is an excellent disc and one that will garner attention come BMA time. No less a pundit than Dick Shurman feels that this disc is “arguably his best recorded work ever.” It’s dynamic, the vocals are outstanding and the players backing Curtis are at the top of their game. I’ll be blessed to see Curtis on tour this summer and I would strongly suggest you do too. The Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year is at the top of his game and his disc reflects it. Grab a copy from him on the road or get one at This one is a must have if you love soul blues.

--- Kyle Deibler


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