New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Well folks, I am back and this time I am going to introduce the second album of Bongo Boy's Backroom Blues series.
In a nutshell, this is why American culture kicks ass all over the world. The music on this album just oozes cool, not just the "OK-that-was-cool" kind of cool, but the kind of cool that leaves you breathless and wondering what just happened.
I once heard that the first time Pete Townshend met Jimi Hendrix, Jimi proceeded to play his guitar AT Townshend. The message was undeniably clear. Jimi was letting him know that there was a new gun in town and there wasn't a thing Townshend could do about it.
Well, this album is full of new guns - and they ROCK.
Track 1 is titled Beg and Plead and it comes from Jeanne Lozier. Now, I do not know much about Jeanne, but I know this: Her guitar player can blaze and her harp player can blow. When you combine that with her Aretha Franklin
style vocals you have something that is nothing short of spellbinding.
Track 2 is Shake Your Hips by Rocket 88. At first I thought this was a cover of La Grange, then the singer came in and I realized this is a cover of the Slim Harpo song. You can understand my confusion as ZZ Top
borrowed from, and the Rolling Stones coved, Slim Harpo. Rocket 88 is keeping good company. The guitar on this track is outstanding, but it is the keyboards that really make me smile. This band's album cover should be in the dictionary under the definition of soul. I defy anyone to listen to this track and not feel the groove. It is just so infectious. I warn you though, look around before you do. You would hate to break out into a Billy Gibbons laugh while at work.
Track 3 is titled Wonder If and comes from B3 (The Red Bank Blues Band) out of New Jersey. Two things immediately stand out on this track. The first is the female singer has nothing short of a beautiful voice. She can go into a soulful screech for sure, but below the wail is a truly more-than-pleasant voice. The second stand-out feature is the harp player. He can definitely play. The man has some hefty lung control.
1. Beg and Plead - Jeanne Lozier 3:42
2. Shake Your Hips - Rocket 88 4:44
3. Wonder If - RB3 The Red Bank Blues Band 3:50
4. Nag Nag Nag - Blind Lemon Pledge 2:48
5. So Tired ( Goin' Home) - Trevor Sewell 4:00
6. Broken - Mike Daly and The Planets 3:58
7. She Broke The Ten Commandments - Blind Lemon Pledge 3:08
8. Good Time Charlie - Miss Laurie Ann & The SaddleTones 3:40
9. Pretty Baby - Big Bone Daddy 2:54
10. Hollow Part 1 - Trevor Sewell 3:38
ASIA RELEASE: 4.5.16 | WORLDWIDE: 5.3.16 | UPC 685349938377 | ISRC: USPXQ
Track 4 is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Blind Lemon Pledge is back from Backroom Blues volume one. Their first track on this album is called Nag Nag Nag - and as a divorced guy all I can say is I feel your pain my brother. This song is one big lament from a guy who isn't getting laid, but is getting bitched at incessantly. OK, musically the horn solo is really nice, but it is the lyrics that really make me smile. It sounds like he was at my house a couple of years ago...
Track 5 Trevor Sewel's first track on the album is So Tired. I dig the funky groove. Trevor's voice has a laid back kind of cool that I dig. The old-school female backup singers are a nice touch. Basically, Trevor has reproduced a formulaic classic R&B jam. This is the groove that lets a person wear sunglasses in a dark room and not look stupid. Well done Trevor.
Track 6 comes from Mike Daly & The Planets. The title is Broken, but it might as well be Fuzzy Guitar and Gnarly Vocals. The guitar (s) dominate this tune. The Planets employ an effective droning technique that keeps the listener's mind occupied. This is enhanced by a grizzly, gravely voice and rhyming lyrics. The entire package is accentuated with dueling guitar licks that just make me smile. This is absolutely worth a listen
Track 7 - Blind Lemon Pledge is back. You have to respect these guys. The harp sounds wicked and the guitars are mesmerizing. BLP's ultra-mellow singing style is nothing less that eerie as he describes how his Ex (the Nag in track 4?) broke his heart. I would love to see these guys live. I have a feeling that they put on a rocking show.
Track 8 is called Good Time Charlie and comes from Laurie Ann & The SaddleTones. Hands down, the best song on the album. Laurie Ann has a great voice! The music is just cool. The piano can swing and the slide guitar makes me smile! (I am a sucker for slide guitar.) Folks, this is an old time bad ass blues band - they have a singer with a great voice - keys and a guitar who can each solo comfortably or blend into the background and a rock solid rhythm section. You can easily imagine your grandfather digging this music before he had to ship out to give the Nazi's a smack upside the head. The style may be old, but like fine wine, it ages well.
Track 9 is called Pretty Baby and comes from one of my favorite groups on Backroom Blues volume one. Big Bone Daddy. This ultra-simplistic jam is just fun. Dad's voice sounds good and his band can make some noise. The thumping count of the drums is sure to get your head banging. Musically, the biggest treat is the guitar.
Not the guitar you hear up front that plays the notes of the refrain, listen and you will hear a second guitar track just underneath that is soloing like crazy. It almost seems like Dad stuck that guitar in just to see if anyone was paying attention. All in all, this is a really good song, despite what seems to be its aqualung influenced lyrical content...
Track 10 is another offering from Trevor Sewell and is called Hollow Part 1. This song ROCKS. The guitar is just spectacular. Trevor spent a lot of time in the studio on this one. This track goes deep. It is filled with musical nooks and crannies that come together to make what sounds like a modern day Theme from an Imaginary Western.
I can almost see Clint Eastwood
in his Spaghetti Western days riding across the desert while this song plays in the background. The only problem with the song is the abrupt ending. I was enjoying a nice groove and then boom it was over. Trevor, Dude, not cool man that really messed with my...state of mind.
So, what is the bottom line? The bottom line is this album is a collection of really good songs by a bunch of bands you may not have heard of, but you should definitely know.
Official Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/backroombluesvol2/
The Grouch | Sweden Web Page: https://bongoboyrecords.com/the-grouch-says/