Although Mike Markowitz' biggest influence was Muddy Waters, it is obvious he owes a debt of gratitude to bluesmen Pinetop Perkins and Paul Butterfield. Mike toured with Pinetop as his backing band and recorded/produced for him. Butterfield gave him the most advice, telling him to be a music purist not a blues purist. This is their fifth album after a 16 year hiatus but brings that same toe-tapping swagger. They have been a band since 1978 from the working-class neighborhoods of Queens, although Mike has firmly planted himself in Florida. 'Opelousas Rain' just chugs along...pure instrumental tune. Love, love, LOVE the song 'Wait a Minute Baby' with its nice slow shuffle, guitar heat, harp reverb, and horn section that brings big-band sound. There's a little something for everyone in the lyrics too: "I know you think you're smart, but that ain't the way it's gonna be..." 'Tell Me Baby' and 'Traveling Blues' are jump jive numbers. 'Little Therese' is 11 minutes of slow, slow grooves which flesh out sublime piano and harp solos. 'Fool Too Long' lays down a groove with steady background bass line. 'The Hit' may be a self-fulfilling prophecy--almost 5 minutes of near complete instrumental harp and bass goodness. Reviewed by Pam VandeKerkhoff
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