Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
On this, their third disc in three years, guitarist Andy T. and vocalist Nick Nixon are joined by a host of all-star guests including producer/guitarist Anson Funderburgh, harmonica wizard Kim Wilson and the Texas Horns. While many bands take a couple of years between each disc, this crew is taking advantage of their many years in different bands to bring their well formed skills to the studio while the time is ripe. Even though Nixon’s career can be traced back to the 60’s he remains at the top of his game with velvety smooth vocals and great phrasing. Likewise, Andy T. is a versatile guitarist with stinging Albert Collins style leads one moment and jazzy west coast riffs befitting T. Bone Walker the next. With half of the tunes written by either Andy T. or Nixon the band has plenty of room to stretch without feeling constrained to honor someone else’s vision of a song. "Hightailin’" is an instrumental that showcases Andy T.’s deft touch on guitar while "Sundown" and "This World We Live In" each give Nixon the chance to stretch his pipes as he laments the loss of his lady on the former and mourns the sad state of affairs that pits color against color and religion against religion on the later. The pain in his voice is palpable and could only be conveyed by someone living the words. There are a few well-chosen covers here as well. "Blue Monday" is a slow groover reminiscent of the Allman Brothers’ "Stormy Monday" and "Tall Drink of Water" has a zydeco feel to it, accordion, rubboard and all (a sound that is also featured on the band’s own "What Went Wrong"). "Pretty Girls Everywhere" is an upbeat party starter. Florence Cadrez’ "Tell Me What’s the Reason" sounds like it could have been on Gatemouth Brown’s Gate Swings disc with its rollicking horn chart and urgent vocals. Driving the point home, Gatemouth’s own "Gate’s Salty Blues", makes an appearance just a couple of songs later. Another solid release by this relatively new but well-seasoned band. Smitty
review by Mark
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