This album came out last summer, and I had been trying to score a copy since first hearing it at a friend's house. Had I gotten Fixin' Your Head a few months earlier, it undoubtedly would have been ranked real high on my Top Ten list for 2000. Sure, the music on this album is derivative. But does it really matter when it's this much fun? Not to me, it doesn't!
The opening cut, the jumpin' blues of "Women and Cadillacs," blasts right out of the speakers at you with Curran's booming vocals and a tight, sparse (yet full-sounding) backup band. Curran's guitar work leads into his Wynonie Harris-style vocals on the next number, "Boogie With My Baby." I had to look twice at the song credits to be sure that this one wasn't written in the 1940s ... no, like most of the cuts on Fixin' Your Head, it's a Curran original.
For a straighter, grittier blues, Curran turns to the West Side Chicago-sounding, "I Want To Love You." I could have sworn that this was an old Magic Sam song. But no, it also is a Curran original.
The CD really heats up near the end on the jump blues "Do You Wanna Be My Baby?," with hot sax from Jim Trimmier and Murph Motycka, and the late night slow blues of "I'm Waiting For Your Call." Curran's vocals are reminiscent of Percy Mayfield on the latter tune, and he demonstrates some awfully mean T-Bone chops on guitar.
Fixin' Your Head is one of the most refreshing albums to come my way in a while. Don't get me wrong .... I'm not saying that anything here is in the same league as the jump blues classics from Turner, Harris, Roy Brown, etc. That's an unfair comparison. But that doesn't mean that young Nick Curran hasn't recorded a fine album that will give your body the St. Vitus Dance from start to finish!
--- Bill Mitchell
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