Blues Bytes


October 2022

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The Boneshakers
One Foot In The Groove

Take It To The Bridge Records

The Boneshakers

The Boneshakers made a lot of noise with their first album, Book of Spells, some 25 years ago. Guitarist Randy Jacobs (Was (Not Was)) has collaborated with several vocalists during the ensuing quarter century, Sweet Pea Atkinson for two stints and Malford Milligan in between, and also worked with saxophonist Mindy Abair for two fine albums. Sadly, Atkinson passed away from a heart attack in 2020, but Jacobs has brought in Moonshine Society vocalist Jenny Langer for their latest effort, One Foot In The Groove (Take It To The Bridge Records), a strong ten-song set of the blues, funk, rock and soul style that has made Jacobs and the band so in-demand as session players and sidemen.

Jacobs and Langer are joined with an outstanding cast of supporting musicians, including keyboardist Jon Gilutin, bassist Nathan Brown, drummer Sergio Gonzales, guitarist Coco Montoya, and the Texicali Horns (Joe Sublett and Mark Pender, sax and trumpet respectively), along with vocalist Bernard Fowler and Sir Harry Bowens. The set opens with the Dylan/Was collaboration “Mr. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” which has a tasty Memphis feel. The band keeps things in the Bluff City with a funky cover of the Stones’ “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” which Ms. Langer knocks out of the park with her sassy vocal.

The band’s interpretation of 24 Pesos’ “I Am The Blues” is a little moodier and funkier than the original, and their sparkling version of Southside Johnny’s “Ain’t Got The Fever No More” practically bounces out of the speakers. Next is “Big Legged Man,” a cool and unique take on a familiar blues topic from the ladies’ perspective written by Jacobs and Langer. The title track was written by the late, great Donnie Fritts and this cover retains the loose and limber Muscle Shoals feel.

Bernard Fowler joins Langer for the William Bell/Booker T soul classic “I Forgot To Be Your Lover.” The duet format works really well and both vocalists turn in strong and passionate performances. “Ice Cream and Cigarettes,” from French singer Sophie Baudry gets a nice, retro soul reading from Langer, and her spunky version of Clarence Reid’s “More More More” is a tasty mix of funk and soul. The album closes with a Jacobs original, “Powerful Notions,” really capturing the band’s mix of blues, funk, rock and soul perfectly.

It's nice to have a new recording from The Boneshakers, and with Langer, Jacobs has found a wonderful vocalist who can ably handle the multiple genres the guitarist has on his musical palette. If you’re a fan of blues, funk, rock, soul, or a combination of the four, One Foot In The Groove should find a spot in your music collection.

--- Graham Clarke



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