The big surprise with Vernon Garrett is how a singer this good has remained relatively unknown to most of the blues world up to now. Perhaps Half Past The Blues will be the disc which finally gets this man some due recognition.
Garrett spends most of his time around Texas and the surrounding states. But a 1994 appearance on the main stage at the Chicago Blues Festival gave him a chance to make some new fans, and he took advantage of the opportunity. I was there, and I can tell you that the man sounded great!
Half Past The Blues starts with a good upbeat blues, "Blues In Your Town." Garrett's soulful side shows on another uptempo number, "Mixed Emotions," which could easily have been taken from the Al Green songbook. The Muscle Shoals Horns pack a powerful wallop on this cut. The whole band really sounds tight on the title cut, with Garrett turning in one of his better vocal performances.
If you like your blues with a heavy touch of the deep South, then take a close listen to "Welfare Blues." Garrett also performs the requisite risqué number, the double-entendre "Dill Pickle And A Peppermint Stick."
Comprised of only ten cuts, Half Past The Blues is a little short on quantity by today's digital standards. But there's a lot of quality music packed into those ten numbers.
- Bill Mitchell
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