2010-11-03Review by Steven “Nick” Nickelson of Precious Cargo by The Steve Wiggins Band (Recommended: 01, 02, 10) ARTIST BIO Steve's own musical career began by teaching himself to play the piano and joining the school band playing the trumpet. At the age of sixteen, Steve joined the touring band "Foolstar" and he began living out his musical ambition. After the band dissolved, Steve moved back to Panama City and played with several local bands and performed in many successful solo engagements. Steve released his first solo CD, "Serenity by the Sea," in 2003, followed by "Spirit of the Momsen" in August 2004. His newest cd "Mesa Verde Moments" was released in December 2007. In the winter of 2005 Steve formed the Steve Wiggins Blues Band. During the summer of 2007 Steve played several gigs with blues artist Zac Harmon. Steve has played onstage with blues artists such as Curtis Salgado, Kirk Fletcher, Fionna Boyes and Tab Benoit among others. His supporting cast in this live recording are his regular drummer and lead singer, Lenwood Cherry, Jr., bassist Bruce Hebert, and saxophonist Wally Tirado. Steve is a veteran of the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise, 7 cruises in the last 5 years, he has played with some of the worlds best blues musicians!! Steve has recorded his live debut BLUES CD Aug. 2009. "Precious Cargo" was released Nov.2009 It has entered the Blues Charts July 2010. Review of The Steve Wiggins Band Precious Cargo by Steven “Nick” Nickelson: Right out of the box, the audience (and listener) is treated to a smokin' hot keyboard shredding cut, penned by the leader of the band (01 Steve's Boogie). It is not so much boogie as Jump Jive; however, it is really one that I could envision the audience out on the dance floor. This number elicits that primal urge to toe-tap or more. Really tight group, and the sax just smokes. Steve's piano playing is spot on, and his trips up and down the keyboard keeps the audience in awe. Even though the next cut, (02 Cold Shot) is dedicated to the legendary guitar maker and player, Les Paul, the slowed down tempo still doesn't hide the Stevie Ray Vaughan influence in the song. From there we are treated to a slowed-down James Taylor cover (03 Steam Roller) wherein Steve gets down on the arpeggios. Lenwood does his thing on the live next cut (04 Doin My Thing), as well as the studio recap (11 Doin My Thing). Then we jump back into Lenwood's territory with a song he wrote (05 Black Cat Woman), and for which everyone gets to demonstrate their prodigious talents. The only instrumental on this record (06 Roosterfish), seems to be more jazz-oriented than boogie; however, it demonstrates the musical versatility of the band. But then, lest we forget, we get a smokin' hot demonstration of boogie by the gang (07 Dimples). One of my favorite songs on this cd is an old Bill Withers' classic (10 Ain't No Sunshine). Wally Tirado really digs way down into his basket of mournful tunes to bring this one home, and Steve's heartstring-pulling organ playing seals the deal; this is underscored by the audience's appreciative applause. There is one track on this cd that, although it has a blues beat, I just cannot seem to get my head around it (08 My Last Tear). To me, it sounds as if they were still working out the kinks in it. has a raw sound; however, that may be the intent of the songwriter (Steve Wiggins). Like the previous cut, the next cut (09 Watermelon Man), seems out of place on this album. It is a jazz tune, (written by Herbie Hancock). The band does an admirable job on the cut, and since this is not a mainstream blues album, then (perhaps) the choice of this song is apropos of the band's talents. Having used up all my big words for the day, I will now sit back and spin that cd one more time. --- Nick
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