Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

STEVE GUYGER

RADIO BLUES

2008-09-12

Steve Guyger is an old school harmonica player who has played with everyone from blues icon Jimmy Rogers to rock legend Levon Helm. Backed on this disc by Johnny Moeller on guitar, Steve Gomes on bass, Robb Stupka on drums and Bill Heid on piano and organ, Guyger reveals his deep roots and varied influences. The disc kicks off with "Lookie Here" where Guyger dips back into another era where men didn’t waste time on proposals but simply announced to their chosen mate that they were getting hitched the next day. Fortunately, the adept interplay between Guyger’s harmonica and Moeller’s guitar make the Fred Flintstone approach to courtship seem almost incidental to the fun being had. The tables get turned on the soulful, "I Can See by Your Eyes", where Guyger catches the “goodbye look” from his partner. "On Blues Won’t Let Me Be" Guyger channels Jr. Wells on vocals and any number of Chicago harmonica players with some hot wired runs up and down the scale. "Won’t You Come on Out Tonight" is equally charged with Moeller’s guitar adding considerable heat to the mix. Changing things up considerably, the slow, loping beat of "Cool in the Evening" is accompanied by an equally low key vocal from Guyger that brings Charlie Musselwhite to mind. "Little Rita", on the other hand, substitutes Guyger’s rocking harmonica for the accordion that could have easily taken the lead on this upbeat rocking number that would fit right in on a Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone disc. "Afghan Rumble" is a big instrumental showcasing Guyger’s harmonica chops while Rudy Toomb’s classic "I’m Shakin’" gets a pretty straight forward rock and roll treatment. The stuttering, dance floor beat of "Hey Little Baby" sounds like Buddy Holly should get a cut of the royalties but does feature some pretty fine harmonica work. Rounding things out are a reverential take on Muddy Waters’ "Let Me Hang Around" and a quick instrumental blast through the Big Joe Liggins classic "Honeydripper". If radios still played blues like this, people would still listen to the radio! Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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