TIP OF THE TOP

From Memphis to Greaseland

2012-04-19

Nick's Picks: 05 She's Too Much; 08 Fattening Frogs For Snakes; 10 My Baby's Gone (And I Feel Good); 13 The Sportin' Life

FCC ALERT: "a couple of bleeped words – FCC clean"

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson of Tip of the Top From Memphis to Greaseland :

Some of the best blues riffs ever heard have most likely never been recorded. That happens when you get a group of talented musicians together to jam. The music gets tighter and tighter, and the air becomes electrified, and all of a sudden...........there it is, comin' right from the fingertips/pursed lips/smokin' guitar licks of the (bass) guitar/mouthharp (harmonica/sax)/lead/steel guitar player. And then it's gone. BUT sometimes, the audience/adroit listener catches the moment, and then everthin's right with the world. That's what the blues is about – catching the moment. Tip of the Top represents just such a collection of musicians. Most of the cuts on this cd are original songs by one or more of the band members, and the balance are classic blues standards. We start off with an original jump (or juke) song from Jon Lawton (“I Ain't Worried”), and then we segue into a faster-paced, re-worked Sonny Boy Williamson tune (“One Way Out”), which is a good lead-in for another jump blues original by Frank DeRose. (“The Night Is Young”). The identifying style of this band can be characterized as “foot stompin” music, and given one listen, I think you will agree with me – particularly on tracks seven (“Rocker”), all instrumental track eight (“Slidin' Home”), and track eleven (“Hard To Get”). Thrown into the mix is one real sweet and slow basic 'she-done-me-wrong-so-I'm-drinkin'-myself-to-death-song'. All things considered, this band personifies the blues. And that says it all. Now the test:

Would I buy record? Yes! But would I catch a live show? You bet! And that's my two nickels' worth................Nick


The Band Musicians:

・ Jon Lawton – songwriter, vocals, guitar

・ Frank DeRose – songwriter, bass

・ Aki Kumar – songwriter, harmonica, vocals

・ Carlos Velasco – drums


Session Musicians:

・ Johnny “Cat” Soubrand – guitar

・ Kris “Kid” Anderson – guitar

・ Sid Morris – piano

The Songs:

1. I Ain't Worried (J. Lawton)

2. One Way Out (S.B. Williamson, M.Sehorn, E. James)

3. The Night Is Young (F. DeRose)

4. Mean Ol' Frisco (A. Crudup)

5. She's Too Much (J. Funchess)

6. I'm Lost (J. Lawton)

7. Rocker (W. Jacobs)

8. Fattening Frogs For Snakes (S.B. Williamson)

9. Slidin' Home (J. Lawton)

10. My Baby's Gone (And I Feel Good) <(J. Lawton)p>

11. Hard To Get (A. Kumar, R. Kumar)

12. She's Fine (F. DeRose)

13. The Sportin' Life (B. McGhee)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.