is the zydeco album that I've been waiting for!
Dwayne Dopsie is the son of legendary
zydeco master Rockin' Dopsie, and he shows that
he learned his lessons well on his latest album,
Set Me Free (Louisiana Red Hot Records).
It's old-school zydeco at its best with enough
contemporary blues and soul touches to make it
even more interesting. Like his father, Dwayne
plays accordion and sings, proving to be an
outstanding musician in his own right.
cuts to earmark for repeated listenings include
the title cut, a mid-tempo blues with a back
beat. It's well-suited for Dwayne's raw voice
that has just a little of that desirable blues
rasp. Another solid number is a version of
Guitar Slim's slow blues classic, "The Things I
Used To Do," the album's only cover, with
Dwayne's brothers Anthony and Rockin' Dopsie Jr.
joining in. Anthony contributes a strong organ
solo to this tune.
"Louisiana Girl" is an up-tempo zydeco number
that moves both the feet and the soul, sure to
fill up the dance floor anywhere it's played.
The same could be said for the even more upbeat
"DD's Zydeco Two Step," which is just what the
title says it is. Dwayne really shows off his
ability on the accordion on "Lafayette Boogie,"
one that I'm certain would make his dad very
more of a soulful twist to the music, "Take It
Higher" opens the album with a fast tempo and
rhythmic beat, with Brandon David coming in
midway through the number with a riveting blues
guitar solo. "Shake Shake Shake" has Dwayne
reminiscing about a zydeco club that he used to
try to get into when he was underage, forcing
him to look through the windows in another of
his early introductions to the music. David
throws down still another stinging guitar solo.
album closes with a feelgood party stomper,
"Have Those Days Again," with Dwayne singing
about his family and the good times they've had,
while Tim McFatter wails away on the saxophone.
Good times --- that's a phrase that defines this
entire album. Every one of the 12 cuts is great,
making Set Me Free highly recommended.
--- Bill Mitchell
Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town
(Alligator) has the star of this album, Tommy
Castro, telling a complete story over the 13
original compositions. Castro is no stranger to
the blues world, so I don't have to go into too
much detail about his music. It's his usual
rockin' blues sound, with strong soulful
singing and guitar playing, often effectively
using a slide on the guitar strings. On this
concept album, Castro tells the story of a young
bluesman, how he got started playing the blues,
the ups and downs of his life, and finally his
redemption. The music, of course, is high
quality, as is expected from this prolific
artist. But it's the weaving of this young man's
tale that makes this album stand out.
"Somewhere" starts us off with the young man
working on the farm while dreaming about another
life as he teaches himself how to play the
blues. Jimmy Hall contributes harmonica on this
number. The next cut, "A Bluesman Came To Town,"
gives the young man the motivation to get out of
the fields and start his blues career . "Child
Don't Go" is a gospel-infused number, with Terri
Odabi sharing vocals, as the he is implored to
stay home instead of going out on the road. "You
To Hold On To" is a slow soulful number about
his experiences as he leaves his home.
"Hustle" changes not just the music, being a
funky soul number, but also the tone of the
story as the young man has to learn how to be a
bluesman in the big city. "I Got Burned" is a
mid-tempo blues shuffle about a tough lesson he
had to learn about the music business when he
doesn't get paid for a gig. That leads into a
slow blues, "Blues Prisoner," where the
loneliness and pressures of his new life are
getting to him. This one is the best blues
number on the disk, and can easily stand on its
own merit outside the context of Castro's story.
then our young man becomes a blues star, as we
hear on the Chuck Berry-style "I Caught A
Break," with fans lining up to get into his
shows and a successful record to his name. Kevin
McKendree's piano playing stands out on this
comes with success? We get to hear the next
phase of his life on "Women, Drugs and Alcohol,"
with the title of this mid-tempo blues/rock
telling us everything we need to know about what
success has done to the young man.
"Draw The Line" is a slow number that has him
reflecting on his life now, what it used to be,
and where he goes from here. He makes his
decision on the mid-tempo soulful ballad "I Want
To Go Back Home," hoping to go home and be
accepted by his family and his girl. The horn
section is big here, with the arrangements and
sax work coming from Deanna Bogart. The young
man is on his way back home and reflecting on
the decisions he made on the up-tempo heavy
blues "Bring It On Back," highlighted by very
nice slide guitar from Castro.
the final cut, Castro reprises "Somewhere," now
a more acoustic number with slide guitar as he
sings again what the young man once had and now
has again. It's a happy ending to the story, a
strong number to close the album.
song on Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came
To Town stands on its own as solid blues,
but it's more entertaining to listen from start
to finish in order to get the entire story. Well
--- Bill Mitchell
The Triangle (BMG Rights Management) by
Lisa Mills was one of my favorite albums of
2020, with this veteran blues/soul singer
turning out a gem of 14 outstanding soul and
blues numbers recorded at three iconic studios
in the south. Ms. Mills showed on a couple of
the cuts that, dare I say it, she could do Etta
James as well as Etta did on the original
versions. But those 14 songs weren't all she
recorded, as we now have four additional cuts
on The Triangle - Expanded Edition.
Worth the price alone is Mills' version of the
King Floyd classic, "Groove Me." It's just plain
incredible. Stupendous. Wonderful. I obviously
can't say enough about her cover of this soul
classic. She follows with a nice slow rendition
of William Bell's "Everybody Love A Winner,"
showing that she's got the voice to do it
justice. I love how her vocal inflections handle
the transitions between each word as she goes
through the song.
Mills also tackles an Elvis standard with her
cover of "Trying To Get To You," a more
stripped-down version that gives her voice even
more room to soar. The final song is a strong
version of Arthur Alexander's "You'd Better Move
On." The Rolling Stones had a big hit with this
tune and there were other very fine versions
over the years, but Mills makes it her own.
The Triangle has already gotten a strong
recommendation from me when I originally
reviewed it, and now it's even more valuable
with the addition of these four soul gems. If
you haven't already picked it up, then by all
means get the Expanded Edition. If you
already own a copy, it'll be easy enough in our
current digital era of music distribution to
download the new cuts.
--- Bill Mitchell
GA-20 describes their music as "modern
versions of old blues." This trio of two guitars
and drums sure knows how to rock the blues.
Obviously influenced by the rough and raw blues
of Hound Dog Taylor, it's only appropriate that
they chose to do a full album of music by HDT,
Try It --- You Might Like It (Karma Chief
/ Colemine Records), with 10 songs done
originally by the master of raucous blues. An
album like this is risky because there will be a
constant comparison to the original numbers, and
in this case it's a mixed bag for GA-20. Matthew
Stubbs acquits himself well on guitar, giving
that standard fuzzy sound that Hound Dog
perfected, but singer Pat Faherty is a good
enough vocalist but he doesn't have the same
raw, raspy sound that made these the original
songs what they were.
Among the HDT classics are versions of "Give Me
Back My Wig," "Hawaiian Boogie," "It's Alright,"
"Sadie" and "It Hurts Me Too." GA-20 makes it a
fun listen, seldom straying from the originals.
One of the better numbers is "She's Gone," with
Faherty putting more power into the vocals. The
same goes for "See Me In The Evening." In fact,
it's the up-tempo numbers that allow Faherty's
voice to play up, while he struggles on the
it a listen. I like that these dudes chose to
honor one of the great unsung bluesmen. Don't
expecti it to sound just like the originals, but
enjoy it for what it is.
--- Bill Mitchell
just loved, loved, loved the 2020 self-released
debut album, The Devil May Care, by
Iowa's Avey Grouws Band, calling it in my
review one of the surprise hits of the year.
I was eager to hear their follow-up, Tell
Tale Heart (Navy House Records), and while
inot all of the material suits my tastes there's
some very fine stuff here.
band is headed by Jeni Grouws (vocals) and Chris
Avey (guitar), with Bryan West (drums), Randy
Leasman (bass) and Nick Vasquez (keyboards)
rounding out the quintet. Telltale Heart
veers a little more into blues/rock territory a
bit more than its predecessor, which is why for
me it's not as essential as the original, but
your results may vary.
faves include the funky blues "There For Me," a
vehicle for Grouws to show off her impressive
vocal capabilities with the tight support of the
band. Just as strong is the catchy up-tempo
shuffle "Hanging Around," with Grouws sounding
just a little more sultry. Nice guitar and organ
accompaniment. Avey contributes a solid
blues/rock guitar solo on a slow, late night
blues, "Tell Tale Heart," with Grouws again
showing why she has the potential to be the next
great female blues singer on the scene. Or
perhaps she's already there and the blues world
just doesn't yet know it.
song that will have you bopping your head and
tapping your feet is the funky mid-tempo blues,
"Heart's Playing Tricks," with Grouws singing
all about the hazards of being too jealous. This
is the creative songwriting that this band is
becoming known for, and Vasquez comes in with
some very fine organ playing. "We're Gonna Roll"
gets real funky, with Grouws voice soaring to
octaves not achievable by most human voices.
Avey plays some very fine guitar here.
Closing the album is "Eye To Eye," one with kind
of a C&W-ish blues vibe that features Grouws and
Avey sharing vocals in a playful way while
Vasquez adds a honky tonk piano solo. It differs
from most of the album, but is a nice finisher.
Grouws Band continues to impress and should be
followed as they proceed with their career.
Tell Tale Heart is a strong second album and
I can't wait to hear what's next from this band
--- Bill Mitchell
I’ve been listening to Chris Gill in various
incarnations for several years. The Jackson,
Mississippi-based blues man collaborated with
percussionist Darrick Martin (as D’Mar & Gill) on
two excellent albums a few years back, and most
recently he contributed guitar to Urban Ladder
Society’s album of brave new blues, The Summit.
He has also been a finalist at the International
Blues Challenge (2012). However, I had never heard
him on a release of his own music, until recently,
when I received a copy of his latest solo album,
Between Midnight and Louise (Endless Blues
Records), which is truly a solo release featuring
only Gill’s vocals and guitar.
The opening track is a nimble fingerpicked country
blues instrumental, “Thank You For One More Day,”
which Gill dedicates to his grandfather. Gill was
inspired to write “Song For Honeyboy” after reading
the blues legend’s autobiography; it features some
splendid slide guitar work and a nod to the late
Hubert Sumlin in the final verse.
“Back To Paradise” takes a look at our current
squirrel cage of a world and offers potential
solutions, while the gentle “You Never Know” sounds
like a long-lost Mississippi John Hurt track.
“Rolling Man” is a tale about a hobo’s adventures
with an interesting deep percussive feel (Gill plays
a Baritone Mule guitar on this track).
The Delta blues “Fleas and Ticks” will surely hit
home for anyone who’s ever spent time in the Deep
South during mid-summer. “Souvenir Of The Blues” is
a moody slow blues with fine fretwork, particularly
slide, which is followed by “Long Distance Highway,”
a “road” song leaning more toward the country side
of the aisle.
The next two songs were written by Gill’s friend,
the late Virgil Brawley.The autobiographical
(probably as much for Gill as for Brawley) “I Fell
In Love With The Blues” and “Walking Through Eden,”
a great tune that’s as much gospel as it is blues.
The title track, another lovely instrumental, closes
This is as fine a set of acoustic blues as you’ll
hear these days. I was lucky enough to meet Chris
Gill in late spring, performing at a Jackson
restaurant, just before I listened to this album. I
encourage you to check him out if he performs in
your area. If you don’t have the chance and you love
acoustic blues, you simply must grab a copy of Between Midnight and Louise.
--- Graham Clarke
Sam “Bluzman” Taylor served as a bandleader and
guitarist for Maxine Brown, Big Joe Turner, the
Isley Brothers, Tracy Nelson, Otis Redding, and Sam
& Dave. He also played with Joey Dee & the
Starliters, The Drifters, and The Rascals, and
played guitar for B.T. Express, writing one of their
more popular songs, “Everything That’s Good To Ya (Ain’t
Always Good For Ya),” which has been sampled numrous
times by Hip Hop artists. In the late ’70s, he moved
to Santa Monica, California, where he hosted weekly
shows with his band, called A Band Called Sam.
Taylor relocated to Arizona where he hosted his own
TV and radio shows, dabbled in acting on TV and
movies, and released three albums before returning
to New York where he released five albums before he
passed away in 2009 at age 74. His daughter, singer
Sandra Taylor, and grandson, guitarist Lawrence “L.A.W.”
Worrell (son of Sandra and Bernie Worrell), have
revived the band name A Band Called Sam with some
alumnus from Taylor’s bands (Gary Grob – bass, Gary
Sellers – guitar, Danny Kean – keyboards, and Mario
Staino – drums). On their album, Legacy
(Highlander Records), the band pays tribute to
Taylor by recording nine of his finest tunes.
If you like your blues with a touch of funk, you
have found what you’re looking for with this set.
The inspired opener, “Voice Of The Blues,” reunites
all of Taylor’s former band members. Meanwhile,
“Next In Line,” with co-lead vocals from Sandra
Taylor and Angela Canini, has a smooth ’70s R&B
feel, and the aforementioned “Good To Ya,” with
Worrell on vocals and wah-wah guitar, is as funky as
the original. The slow burner “Mother Blues” is a
fine showcase for Sandra Taylor’s vocal talents and
also allows the band an opportunity in the
“Hole In Your Soul” is a catchy piece of blues and
funk with the band really locking into the groove
here. Taylor and Canini team up again on the upbeat
shuffle “Devil In Your Eyes” and the synth
horn-fueled R&B track “Nothing In The Street.”
“Funny” was a hit in the early ’60s for soul singer
Maxine Brown (Top 25 Pop and #3 R&B). The
81-year-old singer joins Taylor on vocals for this
classy cover and sounds as good as she did on the
original. Worrell sings the closer, “Stinger,” which
originally served as an autobiographical track for
Sam Taylor (born a Scorpio), and is pure,
Don’t let Legacy slip by you. It’s a fine set
of contemporary blues mixed with funk and R&B, and
it’s a great tribute to an unsung bluesman who
certainly deserved more recognition than he got.
It’s nice to see that Sam Taylor has family members
following in his footsteps.
--- Graham Clarke
The Indiana-based Head Honchos returns with Blues
Alliance (Grooveyard Records), a powerhouse set of
blues rockers (nine originals, two covers) that
grabs and pulls listeners in from the get-go. The
twin guitar attack of Rocco Calipari Sr. (also lead
vocals) and Jr. remains as potent as ever, with
propulsive backing from bassist Mike Boyle (Son
Seals, Big Dog Mercer) and drummer Will Wyatt (Bob
Stroger, Mike Wheeler, Joann Parker). Their latest
effort should appeal to both blues and rock fans
The Honchos bust right out of the gate with the
thunderous “Stuck Between The Middle,” and the tempo
rarely fades from this blistering guitarfest. The
next track, “Mr. Bad,” mixes in a bit of funk and
“Number One” offers soaring lead guitars in the
best southern rock tradition. “She’s Got That Thang” changes the tempo a bit, mixing funk and
rock, with guest keyboardist Mark Landes added to
“Find Me A Woman” and “Can’t Be Satisfied”
(not the Muddy Waters standard) are straight-ahead
“Evil” is the old Howlin’ Wolf (via Willie Dixon)
classic, albeit with nearly-metal fretwork from the
Caliparis and Wyatt’s relentless drumming. “Midnight
Ride” is a dark, ominous rocker punctuated by
Boyle’s thundering bass, “We Will Win” has an almost
pop-rock feel, while the tough “Rock N’ Roll”
is…..well…..rock n’ roll.
The closer is the second
cover tune, Al Green’s “I’m A Ram,” presented as a
somewhat subdued (compared to the rest of the album)
acoustic country blues.
Blues Alliance starts out in fifth gear and keeps
that pace pretty much throughout, even with the
closing acoustic number. "Sometimes," that can get a
bit tedious over the long haul. But the Caliparis
are pretty dynamic and versatile with their fretwork
and Boyle and Wyatt provide stellar backing, so that
never happens here. As stated above, the Head
Honchos’ musical approach has much to offer for
blues and rock fans. There’s not a bad track to be
found on Blues Alliance.
--- Graham Clarke
Alastair Greene decided to venture to Houma,
Louisiana and record The New World Blues (Whisky
Bayou Records) with Tab Benoit. Greene opted to
leave his band behind and work with Benoit, who
played drums, and bassist Corey Duplechin. In the
liner notes Greene calls this “the most stripped
down blues-based album I’ve ever made.” The 11
tunes, all by Greene or in collaboration with
Benoit, are among some of the guitarist’s best work
and he is in peak form vocally and instrumentally.
The opener, “Living Today,” is a straight-ahead,
driving rocker, and “Lies And Fear” is a mid-tempo
track that drips with swampy funk (it was recently
issued as a single, too). On the atmospheric “Bayou
Mile,” the pace slows but the swampy vibe remains,
and “When You Don’t Know What To Do” is lively
country-flavored rock that moves along at a brisk
pace. “No Longer Amused” is a slow burner with
a lot of soul and a sharp guitar break from Greene.
Meanwhile, “Back At The Poor House” is an
instrumental shuffle with a touch of funk, a bit of
Texas roadhouse, and a mighty fine groove.
The mid-tempo “Find Your Way Back Home” keeps that
swamp vibe alive thanks to Benoit and Duplechin’s
rhythm work, and Greene’s guitar solo is pretty awesome
as well. On the ballad “Heroes,” Greene’s vocal is
rather low-key but his guitar playing is anything
but, and the upbeat “Wontcha Tell Me” mixes a bit of
country flavor with rock and pop. The ominous “Alone
and Confused” is a strong blues rock ballad with
soaring guitar work. On the title track, which
closes the album, Greene breaks out the slide and
the results are pure dynamite.
The New World Blues represents a bit of a change in
Alastair Greene’s musical approach, but the result
is the rawest and most rugged set of blues rock in
the guitarist’s catalog. It's a powerful set that
will leave listeners hungry for more.
--- Graham Clarke
Soft Hard & Loud (Blue Rock Records) is not a
typical release from guitarist Dennis Jones, but it
is a natural progression. Jones’ new release still
features plenty of his fierce blues rock stylings,
but these ten tracks mix in more R&B, soul, and funk
than on previous albums. It’s always been there, but
a bit more so this time around. The end result is an
album that expands his musical scope and diversity.
Jones is, as always, a force of nature on guitar and
vocals, and he receives superb support from
Cornelius Mims (bass/keys/percussion/co-producer
with Jones), Raymond Johnson (drums), with
contributions from Bennett Paysinger and Jason
Freeman (B3 on one track apiece).
The funk is strong with the album opener, “Revolves
Around You,” about a strained relationship with a
self-centered lover. One of the highlights of any
Dennis Jones album is his songwriting. His lyrical
approach avoids the usual clichés about love and
relationships, and his guitar work is dynamite. “I
Love The Blues” is a slow burner that speaks of
Jones’ love for the music he plays, featuring Paysinger’s B3 in the background. “Like Sheep”
is a hard-hitting rocker with social overtones,
while “Front Door Man” an upbeat blues shuffle, is
simply Jones doing what he does best.
“Nothin’ On You” is a smooth old school R&B ballad.
Jones does a fine job on vocals for this one, with
background vocals from Allison August and Michael
Turner. “I Hate Hate” is an encouraging tune with
reggae and rock overtones, and “Gonna Be Alright”
deftly mixes funk and rock with the blues,
punctuated with Jones’ fiery fretwork. Speaking of
which, “When I Wake Up” is a slow blues that
features a positively Hendrixian guitar break that
will leave jaws agape. “I’m Not” is another slower
tempo track, but in more of a T-Bone Walker mode
than the previous track, and the searing closer,
“Burn The Plantation Down,” is a scathing social
It seems like I always say that the most recent
Dennis Jones release is my favorite of his. Well, I
hate to repeat myself, but I think Soft Hard & Loud
falls in that category as well. I always look
forward to hearing his next release and, well, I
guess I will do saying that this time around, too.
Trust me, folks. If you haven’t yet gotten on board the
Dennis Jones bandwagon, I highly recommend that
you do so. This album is a fine place to start.
--- Graham Clarke
The blues world suffered a big loss in February of
2020 when Bay Area blues legend Ron Thompson passed
away due to complications from diabetes. The
guitarist backed Little Joe Blue and worked with
John Lee Hooker for three years in the mid ’70s
before leaving to form his own band, the Resistors,
whose 1987 release, Resister Twister, was nominated
for a Grammy.
In his memory, Little Village
Foundation, which also released his last album
(2015’s Son of Boogie Woogie), has issued From The
Patio, Live at Poor House Bistro, Volume 1,
capturing two performances at the San Jose club from
June and August of 2014.
Thompson played the Poor House Bistro every
Wednesday for a number of years, and this 11-song
set captures him in fine form. While he was a solid
blues vocalist, he had mad guitar skills and this
set showcases those quite well, especially his
incendiary slide work.
“Meet Me In The Bottom” kicks
off the set in fine fashion, featuring some fine
fretwork, followed by Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Bring Me
My Shotgun,” with positively scorching slide guitar.
The Gulf Coast-flavored shuffle “Mardi Gras Boogie”
is next, which leads into the slow burning standard
“Tin Pan Alley,” and a terrific version of Little
Walter’s “One More Chance With You,” featuring guest
Gary Smith on harmonica.
A swampy take on Guitar Slim’s “I Done Got Over It”
is another standout, with Jim Pugh’s cool organ solo
and Thompson’s guitar. Lowell Fulson’s “Sinner’s
Prayer” gets a marvelous smoldering treatment from
Thompson, and the original “The River Is
Rising” is first-rate. The soulful ballad “That’s
How I Feel” was written by Don Covay and Bobby
Womack, and was the “B” side of the only single
released by the short-lived Soul Clan in the late
’60s. Thompson does a fine job vocally on this
somewhat obscure track.
Kid Andersen, who produced
the album, sits in on the final two tracks with
Thompson, who turns in some ripping slide work on J.T. Brown’s “Doctor Brown,” the first of the two,
and his own riproaring “When You Walk That Walk.”
From The Patio, Live at Poor House Bistro, Volume 1
is a marvelous set of contemporary blues played by
one of the unsung players in modern blues. It’s sad
that Ron Thompson didn’t get the recognition he most
certainly deserved while he was with us, but it’s
great that we have this album to remember how good
he was (plus another one on the way, that’s why it’s
called Volume 1).
--- Graham Clarke
Kirsten Thien entitled her latest album Two Sides
after the realization that her songs fit the duality
concept – success and failure, struggle and hope,
self-doubt and empowerment. She assembled these
eight songs as if they were “A” and “B” sides, like
the old vinyl 45’s from back in the day. Thien fans
are already aware of her ability to effortlessly
move from blues to rock to pop to soul to gospel,
and this wonderful set will hopefully introduce her
vocal gifts to a host of new listeners.
The opener, “Shoulda Been,” is a taut rocker that
features Arthur Nielson’s electric slide guitar
backed by Thien’s acoustic slide (also with a slide
bass solo from producer Erik Boyd). “Sweet Lost And
Found” is a smooth track that mixes country with
rock, with a dash of gospel complements of backing
vocals from New Orleans singers Tank and Jelly.
“After I Left Home” was inspired by Buddy Guy’s
memoir, capturing Guy’s story and his music
perfectly, thanks to some searing fretwork from
Neilson. “Say It Out Loud” borrows the Bo Diddley rhythm and paints an optimistic picture of
The blues rocker “I Gotta Man” finds Thien and
Neilson trading guitar solos as she ruminates on
leaving a good man, and the lovely “Montañas” can
best be described as a blues mambo as Thien sings in
Spanish and is backed by Fabian Almazan on piano and
John Benthal on guitars. The Delta blues “Better Or
You’re Gonna Get Burned” includes resonator guitar
from Doug McLeod and Hill Country drum support from
Wes Little. The closer is the album’s lone
cover, an upbeat, tasty version of Leon Russell’s
“I’d Rather Be Blind.”
Thien is a marvelous vocalist and guitarist, and her
songwriting is superb as well. The backing musicians
are excellent. The only thing that would make Two
Sides better would be if a couple more “45’s” were
added to the mix, but listeners will be just fine
with the eight wonderful tracks present.
--- Graham Clarke
The Barrett Anderson Band (Barrett Anderson –
vocals/guitar, Charlie Mallet – guitar/vocals, Doug
MacLeod – drums, Jamie “Black Cat Bone” Hatch –
bass/vocals), based in Boston, have issued HypnoBoogie (Whitaker Blues Records), a dazzling
11-song set recorded live at The Fallout Shelter
in Norwood, Massachusetts in February of 2019. Anderson, who
was backing Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin at age
15, served as a member of Ronnie Earl’s Broadcasters
and The Monster Mike Welch Band for three years
apiece before starting his own band.
The set kicks off on a powerful note with a muscular
cover of Bo Diddley’s “Mona,” with Anderson and
Mallet’s twin guitar driving the Diddley beat
(backing vocals are provided throughout by guest
Emily Anderson). There are three other covers
sprinkled throughout the set. The Magic Sam
instrumental “Lookin’ Good” is as tasty as the
original, and the set closer is a raw and rowdy take
on the J. Geils Band’s “House Party.” The other
cover is a thoroughly modernized version of Son
House’s “Grinnin’ In Your Face” that’s just
The band originals include the hard rocking shuffle
“Good Man,” the funky and hypnotic “Not Your Baby,”
the sweaty slow cooker “Emma Lee,” and “The Long
Fall,” a stunning instrumental that crosses several
genres during its 13+ minute run. The haunting
“Blind Faith” is another instrumental with spacy,
ethereal slide guitar work. “Broken Down” is an
upbeat Hill Country romp with more slide guitar,
while “Gone” is greasy funk and blues.
HypnoBoogie is a most impressive set of
guitar-driven blues and blues rock that gives you a
taste of what The Barrett Anderson Band is all
about. Based on the quality of this strong set,
longtime fans will be pleased and newcomers will
want to dig deeper.
--- Graham Clarke
Mud Morganfield recently signed with Delmark Records
and the label recently issued his first single, the
self-penned gospel track, “Praise Him.” Morganfield,
the oldest son of Muddy Waters, considered becoming
a professional musician after Waters passed away in
1983, but it took him a while to take the plunge. In finally doing so he’s shown himself to be a
savvy songwriter and musician, as well as being a
fine vocalist in the tradition of his father.
“Praise Him” tells the story of Morganfield’s own
spiritual walk and how it continues to direct his
life in a positive way. He receives fine musical
support from guitarists Rick Kreher and Mike
Wheeler, drummer Cameron Lewis, and keyboardist Luca
Chiellini, and a most heavenly choir (Felicia
Collins, Shantina Lowe, Demetrius Hall).
Him” is a fine diversion from the turbulent times.
--- Graham Clarke