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November 1999

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Bob Margolin
Hold Me To It
Blind Pig

Bob Margolin - Hold Me To ItThe latest CD from 'Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin, Hold Me To It   is nothing short of absolutely magnificent! The former Muddy Waters sideman's fourth major release is deeply nestled in the Chicago sound and beautifully produced in what Muddy himself called 'the old school' of not overplaying or overproducing a record. Margolin's eight originals showcase his unique, often insightful view of the world. His playing is the clean, concise precision picking and sliding we've come to expect from the man who has been called the "guitarist's guitarist."

While this is only a trio this time around, these guys manage to sound like a quintet at times. Accompanying Bob is the extremely talented Tad Walters on harp, whose phrasings and tones make him one to keep an eye on at only twenty-four years old, as well as the equally talented Wes Johnson on drums.

The opening piece, "All You Left Behind," takes off with some high energy red hot slide work, followed by the CD's title cut, a pleasant rolling stomp flavored with some sly storytelling. The dark "Mean Old Chicago" is in reality an id to the popular "Sweet Home Chicago," and is also a lament to the great losses the blues world has suffered as of late, the great Jimmy Rogers in particular, with whom Margolin was close.

Of special note is Bob's haunting cover of a recent Bob Dylan authored tune, "Not Dark Yet," on which Margolin plays all instruments and was taken directly from the home recorded demo for this album. As has always been his custom Bob has included a couple of tunes that are humorous and just plain fun to listen to. "Slam 'Em Down," a Tad Walters composition, is a shuffling boogie dedicated to the pleasures and evils of alcohol, and "Stick Out Your Can" is chock full of sexual innuendo and silliness which makes it a great party tune!

Staying within the trio format, the cover of Joe Turner's "Wee Baby Blues" features guests Big Bill Morganfield sharing vocal and guitar duties with Margolin and the multitalented Austin session man Mark 'Kaz' Kazanoff sitting in on harp, making this number a wonderful closer to this CD.

I could ramble on about this album for a week but will just suffice to say, put this one on your shopping list. It's a marvelous effort that hits a homerun at every at bat.

--- Steve Hinrichsen

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